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On the I4th of October, 1871, the college received 
a grant from the College of Arms of armorial bearings 
thus described : 

Argent a Serpent nowed Vert on a Chief nebuly Azure 
a Sun issuant Or And for the Crest, On a wreath of the 
Colours In front of a Palm Tree proper suspended there- 
from by a Riband Azure a Shield Argent charged with a 
Lion rampant Gules and on a Chief of the last three 
Bendlets Or, two branches of Laurel proper Together 
with the motto "Arduus ad Solem." 















ETC., ETC., 






THIS book is the property of the college, but for its contents 
I alone am responsible. 

On 2nd November, 1883, the Council resolved : That the 
Benefactors' Names Committee be requested to report (i) 
" Whether it is expedient that the Calendar of the college 
should contain any record of the names of the principal 
benefactors of the college ; " and (2) " Whether it is expedient 
that a more general history of the college, including that 
of the extension movement, should be prepared in a per- 
manent form while the materials for the history are readily 

To these inquiries the committee gave an affirmative 
reply, and they did me the honour to ask me to write the 
history of the college. They presented a report to the 
council on 4th April, 1884, in which they said : x ". . . the 
committee think it also desirable that a general history of 
the college, including that of the extension movement, should 
be prepared in a permanent form while the materials for 
such history are accessible, and they are happy to state 
that Mr. Alderman Thompson has accepted the invitation of 
the committee to undertake the work, and has already made 
some progress in it." 

I deeply felt the honour, but also the responsibility of the 
invitation. It happened at the time that those gentlemen 
who were best fitted to undertake the work were much 

See Council Minutes, Appendix v., pp. 206-7. 

viii PREFACE. 

engaged in their own pursuits, while I had more leisure than 
they. I felt that I had one qualification for the office a 
grateful memory of student days. "Who is there," asks 
Madame Schopenhauer, 1 " whether merchant or scholar, who 
has grown grey in his toil or at his post of honour, amidst the 
change of time and the pressure of the world, in joy and 
sorrow, who would not recall the memory of his college 

I had also the experience gained upon the extension 
committee almost from its appointment, and on the council 
and court of the college. 

It was thought at first that the history might be made 
an official handbook of the college, but this idea had to be 
speedily abandoned. It was found utterly impossible to 
carry it out, and the committee came to the conclusion that 
the author must be allowed perfect freedom in the composi- 
tion and arrangement of the work, and he alone must be held 
responsible for its contents. 

This resolution I accepted, not only as the wisest, but as 
the only workable condition that could be adopted. I found 
the task a much heavier one than I expected. I have care- 
fully perused and taken notes from the voluminous minute 
books, deeds, reports, and printed documents belonging to 
the college. For nearly three years I have given every 
spare hour to the work, but even with this I have to speak of 

"A task so often laid aside 
When leisure graver cares denied." 

I think I may claim as the result of the labour a trustworthy 

The historian of Owens College labours under one great 
disadvantage he has nothing but hard and rather dry facts 
to record. The college is no venerable institution founded 

1 My Vouthful Life, by Madame Schopenhauer, i., p. 152. 


in the mystical past by Anglo-Saxon king, by lordly prelate, 
or by haughty Tudor ; it is the creation of a man in our 
midst and known to some of us. It has no delightful sur- 
roundings of sparkling river, trim greensward, noble elms, 
spreading cedars, or venerable yews : it was first located in a 
dreary and somewhat disreputable neighbourhood, and in its 
better conditions has to contend with blackening smoke, the 
noise of traffic, and an uncongenial climate. 

But no one who reads the history of the college can fail 
to notice how bravely it has faced its disadvantages and 
triumphed over them ; how its early days of trouble were 
followed by progress till its efficiency as a teaching institution 
was recognised as second to none in the United Kingdom. 

It is emphatically, as the Spectator designated it, the 
University of the Busy. 

I desire to make it known very clearly, and I hope the 
history will bring conviction to the reader, that this great 
result has been attained, firstly, by the patience, the wisdom, 
and the untiring zeal of the trustees, and then of the council ; 
and, secondly, by the high character and eminent capabilities 
of the teaching staff, almost without an exception. 

The story tells of development almost from the opening of 
the college to the present day, and if there is anything really 
interesting to the reader in this book it will be in unfolding 
that development. 

But what of the future? '"It is impossible," says Pro- 
fessor Seeley, " that the history of any state can be interesting 
unless it exhibits some sort of development." So may it be 
said of an institution like Owens College. 

But for the present there is no fear. 2 "The work of the 
college," said our noble president at the opening of the new 
buildings, " is likely for many years to come to be a growing 

1 The Expansion of England, p. '1 19. 2 Essays and Addresses, p. xv. 


work, and if only funds are provided there is an ample store 
of objects upon which they may be expended with great 

My thanks are due to many kind helpers : to Mr. George 
Mattinson for information respecting the founder, whom he 
served as clerk ; to Mr. John Ramsbottom, C.E., for placing 
at my disposal his paper read before the Institution of Civil 
Engineers, being a " Memoir of Charles Frederick Beyer, 
C.E. ;" to Mr. J. E. Bailey, F.S.A., for information respecting 
the attempt to obtain a university charter for Manchester at 
the Commonwealth ; to Mr. C. W. Sutton, the able chief 
at the Reference Library, for much courteous attention; to 
Mr. R. D. Darbishire, F.G.S., for the gift of the minute books 
of the college movement in 1836 ; to Mr. William Brockbank, 
F.L.S., for interesting information respecting Dean Herbert's 
botanical works ; to Mr. J. H. Nodal, for the loan of papers 
on the Manchester Working Man's College movement; to 
Mr. W. Eyre Walker, for generously giving me a specially 
prepared drawing of the old college ; and to Mr. Alfred 
Waterhouse, R.A., for elevations and plans of the new 
buildings. My thanks are specially due to Principal Green- 
wood and Chancellor Christie for reading the proofs ; it must, 
however, be distinctly stated that they are not responsible for 
what appears in the text. 

I have to apologise for making the chapter on Principal 
Scott so long. I had the very great advantage of being his 
student in the philosophy class and of attending many of his 
free lectures in the respective courses on the Relation of 
Religion to the Life of the Scholar. There are still many 
living who had a similar privilege ; to them and to those 
rapidly diminishing few who knew Mr. Scott intimately the 
chapter will prove all too short; to others it may appear 
tediously and unwarrantably long. My excuse must be that 


the first principal of the college, and a man of such eminent 
ability as Mr. Scott, deserves full recognition ; and to those 
who sat at his feet and felt the unspeakable regard and 
affection which he inspired no apology is needed. Under 
this head my thanks for assistance are tendered to Mrs. 
Scott, to Mr. John Finlayson, to Mr. Alexander Ireland, 
of Bowdon, to the Librarian of the Advocates' Library at 
Edinburgh, and to the Librarians of the British Museum. 

Lastly, I wish to thank my colleagues on the council for 
the interest they have taken in the progress of this work ; and 
to the officials of the college for the ready assistance and 
courtesy shown to me during the past three years. 

J- T. 


October 2jth, 1886. 






IV. COLLEGE HISTORY, 1850-1 120 

V. COLLEGE HISTORY, 1851-7 - 138 

VI. A. J. SCOTT - 164 

VII. COLLEGE HISTORY, 1857-8 1860-1 - 194 


IX. COLLEGE HISTORY, 1861-2 1864-5 - 237 


SOCIETIES - - 257 

XL COLLEGE HISTORY, 1865-6 1872 287 



MENT, 1870 - 369 



















TIONS - 633 













"For as water, whether it be the dew of Heaven, or the springs of the Earth, 
doth scatter and lose itself in the ground, except it be collected into some 
Receptacle, where it may by union comfort and sustain itself; so this excellent 
liquor of Knowledge, whether it descend from divine inspiration, or spring from 
human sense, would soon perish and vanish to oblivion, if it were not preserved in 
Books, . . . and Places appointed, as Universities, Colleges, and Schools, for 
the receipt and comforting of the same." FRANCIS BACON, Of the Proficience and 
Advancement of Learning, book ii., Dedication. 

"Universities . . . are bodies containing studious and learned men, com- 
petent to pronounce a judgment on the subjects which forma part of the academical 
course of reading and instruction, and (by their collection in one place) concen- 
trating a mass of light on these subjects. Every such body ought to be a luminous 
point, diffusing its rays in all directions to the rest of the community." Sir G. C. 
LEWIS, Bart., M.P., On the Influence of Authority in Mutters of Opinion, p. 338. 

" The expense of the institutions for education is, no doubt, beneficial to the 
whole society, and may, therefore, without injustice, be defrayed by the general 
contribution of the whole society. This expense, however, might perhaps with 
equal propriety, and even with some advantage, be defrayed altogether by those 
who receive the immediate benefit of such education and instruction, or by the 
voluntary contribution of those who think they have occasion for either the one or 
the other." ADAM SMITH, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth 
of Nations, iv., book v., chap. i. 




"Isolated education does not educate. Men who are trained within a narrow 
circle, where everything is on a small scale, and all minds are moved by the same 
interests and think the same things, are not educated. . . . Two things 
distinguish the educated man mastery over his own and insight into other minds, 
and this insight comes only to those who have met many minds and been 
exercised in the varied arts of living with men and learning from them." A. M. 
FAIRBAIRN, D.D., Mansfield College, pp. 34, 35. 

A SKETCH history of the formation and growth 
** of the Owens College, and of the founding of the 
Victoria University, at Manchester, would be incom- 
plete without some brief reference to earlier attempts 
in the same direction. Elsewhere 1 an account is given 
of the agitation in favour of establishing a university 
at Manchester during the Commonwealth, and of its 
failure. The age was too troublous ; jealousies were 
too strong. Great movements need time for their 
development ; leaders arise, but the people are not 
always ready to follow. This has been seen as much 
in efforts to improve the education of the people as in 
any other social movement. 

The Act of Uniformity of 1662 occasioned the seces- 
sion of a large number of the clergy and of the middle 

1 Chapter xxiii., "Victoria University." 


class laity from the Established Church. The sons of 
wealthy Churchmen naturally sought instruction at the 
universities, but the sons of Nonconformists either had 
to be content with the education which an ejected 
minister could give them, or had to go without. The 
struggle was bravely kept up, but of necessity many 
young men had to start in life with but a scanty training. 

With the passing of the Toleration Act of 1689 
a great change was effected. Nonconformists esta- 
blished schools and colleges in different parts of the 
country, and in Lancashire the English Presbyterians 
took advantage of the change of public opinion to give 
their youth an education on a university basis. 

In 1754' an institution on a liberal and comprehensive 
scale was projected by the English Presbyterian Pro- 
testant Dissenters of Manchester, and was shortly 
afterwards established by them at Warrington, in which 
instruction was given by several learned and eminent 
persons, such as Dr. Priestley, Dr. Aikin, and others, in 
theology, moral philosophy, logic, metaphysics, natural 
philosophy, languages, and polite literature. 

No theological test was required of the students, and 
young men were trained for the professions and business 
as well as for the ministry. 

Towards the end of the last century the movement 
took a more definite shape. The Rev. Thomas 
Barnes, D.D., read a paper before the Manchester 
Literary and Philosophical Society, April Qth, 1783, on 
" A Plan for the Improvement and Extension of Liberal 
Education in Manchester." 2 In this paper the author 
points out the defects of the existing system of educa- 

1 Petition to Lord Normanby, H.M. Secretary of State, for connecting the 
Manchester New College with the University of London. 

2 Memoirs of the Literary and Philosophical Society, ii. , p. 1 6. Second ed . , 1 789. 


tion ; a boy leaves school unfurnished, but few can 
afford to go to a college or a university, and those 
who do go " too often acquire fatal habits of extrava- 
gance, dissipation, and indolence habits entirely incon- 
sistent with the sobriety, frugality, and attention 
necessary to future success and reputation in any line 
of life, and, above all, in business. Hence it is," says 
he, "that so very few of those young men who are 
destined for trade enjoy any advantages beyond those 
of a grammar school." Dr. Barnes was hopeful that 
the happy art might be learned of " connecting together 
liberal science and commercial industry," and he 
modestly said that if the scheme might appear visionary, 
yet it deserved a trial ! It was, he added, as far as he 
was aware, new; he had never heard of a similar 

The course of study he advocated was not to be a 
mere continuation of what had been given at school, 
but the application of school learning to superior objects. 
These were to be natural science, mathematics, lan- 
guages ancient and modern, English literature, law and 
commerce, mental and moral philosophy. One feature 
of college life was especially to be avoided that of the 
students living together in a common apartment. 

The object of the scheme was to afford a training for 
the learned professions as well as for commerce. 

The argument of that day was that higher educa- 
tion spoilt youths for business. Dr. Barnes met this 
argument. After pointing out the perils between 
boyhood at fourteen and youth at eighteen, and the 
difficulties of a parent to find suitable recreation and 
improving occupation for a son at that critical age, 
he said : "It is indeed urged by some ' That science 
and business are incompatible ; and that a taste for the 


one almost necessarily disqualifies a man for succeeding 
in the other' But surely a taste for knowledge is not 
half so detrimental as that rage for pleasure which so 
universally, and almost necessarily, prevails, where a 
better relish has not previously been formed. Would 
not a taste for manly knowledge be a noble antidote 
against the allurements of corrupting pleasures ? Would 
a young man be in so much danger of being drawn 
aside into conviviality, or fashionable amusements, if he 
had a rational and agreeable entertainment at home; if 
he could retire from his warehouse, and relieve his 
jaded spirits by some animating study, and thus set a 
finer edge upon his mind again, blunted and worn down 
by intense application." 

Dr. Barnes boldly faced the objections to his scheme, 
and refuted them. As they long continued to be 
advanced, and are not yet quite dead, it may be well 
to give them. " But," says the objector, " ' there have 
been young men too bookish for a warehouse.' It is 
granted. It is probable they never had a proper turn 
of mind for business. Their parts were wrong cast. 
They should have been brought up to some liberal 
profession more agreeable to their genius. They were 
probably obliged to enter upon a line of life not corre- 
spondent to their ruling passions." Here follow wise 
words : " The object to be aimed at is, To give a boy 
in these intermediate years, to which alone our plan 
extends, that degree of knowledge and of taste, which 
may make him more than the mere man of business in 
future life. The point to be avoided is, The giving him 
views, habits and tastes which may be unsuitable for a 
man of business, and which he would have to unlearn 
again when he came to settle down to the regular 
routine of a warehouse." 


He therefore asks " Is it necessary that business 
shall be followed upon the slavish and degrading plan 
that every idea except that of gain shall be excluded?" 

He commended the carrying out of his plan to found 
an institution to his fellow-members of the Literary 
and Philosophical Society. 

Whereupon it was resolved that " The scheme here 
recommended being approved, and patronised by the 
society, the following paper was, at their desire, drawn 
up by the Rev. Dr. Barnes, and circulated with the 
annexed testimonial from the presidents." 

"Manchester, April 23rd, 1783. 

" Resolved, at a meeting of the Literary and Philo- 
sophical Society, 'That the following paper, drawn up 
by a member, at the request of the society, be printed 
and offered to the consideration of the public.' James 
Massey, Thomas Percival, Presidents." 

The paper was headed: " Proposals for establishing 
in Manchester a plan of liberal education, for young 
men designed for civil and active life, whether in trade 
or in any of the professions." 

In the paper Dr. Barnes traversed the ground he 
had already given to the society; and after paying a 
compliment to the public and private schools of Man- 
chester, he insisted that what was wanted was a link 
between the school and the university. In his defence 
of the assertion that culture does not unfit a man for 
business he boldly added, "Let the list of bankrupts be 
examined. For one who has fallen a sacrifice to 
literature and refinement, it would be easy to point out 
a hundred who have fallen for want of that rational, 
domestic, and delightful entertainment which a proper 
taste for knowledge would have afforded them." 

It was proposed that several gentlemen should unite 


to deliver a course of liberal instruction in arts, science, 
law, and commerce; and for the convenience of young 
business men and others, the lectures were to be given 
in the evening. The management was to be free from 
political or sectarian exclusiveness. "In this institu- 
tion," so ran the paper, " every narrow principle ought 
to be rejected. A plan, formed for public utility, should 
be generous and enlarged, so as to extend itself as 
widely as possible, for the common interest. Science 
and arts are of no political or religious party. They 
tried, in the happiest manner, to destroy those little 
prejudices which alienate one man from another. By 
opening the soul to wider aims, they improve our 
charity, our morals, our Christianity, and, by necessary 
consequence, exalt our truest happiness." 

An outline of the scheme was given in the paper, 
with an analysis of the subjects to be lectured upon, 
with a list of the lecturers; also a statement of the 
rules, and a summary of the constitution of the college. 

The college was instituted at Manchester, June 6th, 
1783, and was called "The College of Arts and 
Sciences." 1 Its officers consisted of the Earl of Derby, 
Lord Lieutenant of the County Palatine of Lancashire ; 
Sir Thomas Egerton, Bart., Thomas Stanley, Esquire, 
Knights of the Shire; and a President and eight 

In Article 5 of the Constitution, it says: "As a 
mark of respect to the Literary and Philosophical Society 
of Manchester, which has so fully discussed the merits, 
and so zealously encouraged the plan of this institution, 
the present nine officers, viz. the President, Vice- 
Presidents, Secretaries, and Treasurer, be appointed 

1 Memoirs of the Literary and Philosophical Society, ii., pp. 38-46. 


Governors of the College." They were President : 
Thomas Percival, M.D., F.R.S., F.S.A., &c., &c. 
Governors: James Massey, Esq.; Rev. Thomas 
Barnes, D.D. ; Alexander Eason, M.D. ; Rev. Samuel 
Hall, M.A.; Charles White, Esq., F.R.S.; Mr. Thomas 
Henry, F.R.S. ; Mr. George Bew; Mr. Isaac Mosse. 

This board of governors was catholic in its composi- 
tion, and illustrated Dr. Barnes' epigram, that "science 
and arts are of no political or religious party." "Mr. 
James Massey was a Tory and the president of John 
Shaw's club ; Dr. Barnes was a Liberal and the popular 
minister of the Presbyterian Chapel in Cross Street ; 
the Rev. S. Hall was the curate of St. Ann's, and was 
on the closest terms of intimacy with Dr. Barnes. He 
is said 2 to have been "an extremely broad ..churchman 
for his day." A pleasant story is told of him that when 
acting as chaplain to the local volunteers, he, at a 
special service held in St. Ann's Church, 3 "not wishing 
to hurt the consciences of the Presbyterian and other 
dissenting members of the corps, omitted the Athanasian 
Creed." 4 He preached the first Sunday-school anniver- 
sary sermon in Ashton parish church in 1 784, and the 
first of a similar kind at St. Ann's in 1785. In 1794 
he was made rector of the new church of St. Peter, in 
. Mosley Street. 

In a note it stated that after two years' experience 
the scheme had been carried out with considerable 
success. That it aimed at thoroughness may be seen 
from its curriculum of 1786-7. s Among other subjects 
of study there were lectures on anatomy by Charles 

1 Manchester Collectanea, ii., p. 7. 

2 Memorials of St. Anne's Church, Manchester, by C. W. Bardsley, M.A., 
p. 96. s Ibid., p. 95. * Ibid., pp. 92-3. 

4 Free Teaching and Free Learning in 1786, by Thomas Barnes, D.D., 
p. 20, note. 


White, F.R.S., &c , and his son Thomas White, M.D., 
&c., and upon chemistry by Thomas Henry, F.R.S., 
assisted by his son, Thomas Henry, junior. 

Great praise is due to Dr. Barnes and his colleagues 
for their energy and perseverance. A glance at the 
then condition of Manchester may assist in forming a 
correct impression of the difficulties which had to be 
met. The Literary and Philosophical Society had only 
been two years in existence. The cotton trade, though 
rapidly growing, was still in its infancy. In 1779 
Samuel Crompton had invented the " mule " and given 
it to the public; but in 1782 there was a panic in 
Manchester because seven thousand and twelve bags 
of cotton had been imported into Liverpool in five 
months. During the same year the inhabitants raised 
a volunteer corps, the American war not having ended. 

It is probable that the whole population of Manchester 
in 1783 was not more than thirty-six thousand persons. 1 
The gross value of cotton goods made in that year was 
^3,2OO,ooo, 2 and the imports of raw cotton were only 
nine million five hundred and forty-six thousand one 
hundred and seventy-nine pounds, not one pound of 
it coming from the United States of America. Young 
men who wished to learn a business were bound as 
apprentices, paying heavy fees and working long hours, 
and the masters kept high change at John Shaw's public 
house at six o'clock, following it up with punch till the 
house was cleared at eight. 3 Politics ran very high, and 
if the Whigs mustered well at St. Ann's Church and 
at the dissenting chapels, the Tories were in greater force 
at the Collegiate Church and in the clubs. At John 

1 It was twenty-two thousand four hundred and eighty -one in 1773, and forty- 
two thousand eight hundred and twenty-one in 1788. Dr. Aikin's Thirty Miles 
Round Manchester, p. 156. * Ibid., p. 180. s Ibid., pp. 184-8. 


Shaw's club the gentry formerly drank to " The King 
over the water," and with the wildest enthusiasm 
toasted "Church and King, and down with the Rump." 
Great excitement, amounting sometimes to riot and 
bloodshed, was not infrequent, and it might well be 
supposed that the times were especially unfavourable 
for any great movement that might appear to be in 
opposition, if not in antagonism, to the established col- 
legiate and ecclesiastical system. 

The friends of education carried on the work they 
had so enthusiastically commenced in 1783, and in 
1786 the " Manchester Academy" was instituted. 

A memorandum states 1 that "A very respectable 
meeting of gentlemen was held this twenty-second day 
of February, 1786, when it was unanimously agreed, 
after due deliberation, that an academy should be estab- 
lished in Manchester, on a plan affording a full and 
systematic course of education for divines, and prepara- 
tory instructions for the other learned professions, as 
well as for civil and commercial life. This institution 
will be opened to young men of every religious denomi- 
nation, from whom no test or confession of faith will be 

This movement must not be confounded with that 
which was inaugurated by the Literary and Philosophical 
Society. They were quite distinct. In his "discourse" 
Dr. Barnes says 2 "The friendly correspondence which 
subsists between the patrons of the College of Arts and 
Sciences and the supporters of our academy, is a 
circumstance mutually favourable to both establish- 
ments, and to the common cause which gave them 

'Free Teaching, &c., p. 31, appendix. Cf. also Rise of Nonconformity in 
Manchester, by Richard Wade, p. 48. 

* Free Teaching, &>c., in 1786, p. 21. 


birth. By this friendly co-operation the circle of studies 
which young men may attain among us is agreeably 
enlarged, and opportunities afforded which could not 
have been equally enjoyed in a single institution, or in 
a more confined sphere." 

How long the Science College existed it would be 
difficult to tell. It has been already shown that in 
1786-7 lectures on anatomy and surgery were given. 
Wheeler, 1 in a biographical sketch of Thomas Henry, 
F.R.S., says: " From causes which it is now difficult to 
trace, but among which may be numbered a superstitious 
fear of a tendency of a taste for knowledge to unfit 
young men for ordinary business, this excellent institu- 
tion had not a long existence. The lectures of Dr. 
Henry, however, on the general principles of chemistry, 
as well as distinct courses which he also delivered on 
the arts of bleaching, dyeing, and calico printing (the 
latter of which were made accessible by the lowness of 
the admission fee to the better educated among the 
operative artisans), were continued for several winters, 
and were at length relinquished solely in consequence 
of the privation of the services of a son, whose able 
assistance had lightened the labour and greatly promoted 
the success of the undertaking." 

The Manchester Academy, though open to laymen, 
and free from any religious or political test, was 
primarily established for the education of Protestant 
dissenting ministers. Dr. Percival, the president of 
the Science College, greatly assisted his friend Dr. 
Barnes in establishing the academy. 

An interesting feature of the early history of this 
admirable institution is the influence it had in bringing 

1 History of Manchester, p. 491. 


to Manchester one of her ablest and most honoured 
citizens Dr. Dalton. Dr. Barnes was anxious to 
obtain a competent person as professor of mathematics 
and natural philosophy, and through the good offices of 
a common friend Dalton was engaged. He removed 
from Kendal in 1793 to Manchester on his appoint- 
ment, and resided for six years within the college 1 
the building which older readers will remember as 
standing back in an enclosure of its own, in Mosley 
Street, between Princess Street and the present National 
Provincial Bank. It was pulled down in 1866. 

In the present light of Dal ton's great name, it is 
amusing to read a paragraph in a report of the academy 
dated August 9th, 1797. It says: "In the province of 
mathematics, natural philosophy, and chemistry, 2 Mr. 
Dalton has uniformly acquitted himself to the entire 
satisfaction of the trustees ; and has been happy in pos- 
sessing the respect and attachment of his pupils. It is 
hoped and presumed that he will continue, with zeal 
and ardour, his scientific exertions, and that with the 
growing prosperity of the New College he will enlarge 
his sphere of reputation and usefulness." The report 
states that the trustees of the Warrington Academy 
testified their approval of the scheme of establishing the 
new college at Manchester, by transferring for its 
support "a large and valuable library, together with a 
moiety of their remaining funds." 

It goes on to say that, " Animated by these encourage- 
ments, the trustees of the New College erected an 
elegant pile of buildings, in an airy and pleasant part 

1 Memoirs of John Dallon, by W. C. Henry, M.D., F.R.S., Cavendish Society's 
publications, p. 216. A Centenary of Science in Manchester, by R. Angus Smith, 
F.R.S., p. 202. 

* Monthly Magazine, Aug. 1797, iv., pp. 105-7; partly reprinted in Harland's 
Manchester Collectanea, ii. 234. 


of Manchester, for the accommodation of the professors 
and the reception of the students ; and it was presumed 
that the great populousness of the town and vicinage, 
the opulence of the inhabitants, the increasing taste for 
science, and the number and respectability of the dis- 
senters, would ensure liberal contributions, and a per- 
manent succession of pupils. Other local advantages, 
also, of no inconsiderable weight, were deemed to belong 
to the situation thus chosen. The industry, ingenuity, 
and enterprising spirit which characterise the people 
of Manchester, it was supposed, might influence by 
example, and catch the minds of youth, by a secret 
and powerful sympathy; one of the largest public 
libraries in the kingdom subsists in the town, open to 
all visitors, at stated times; lectures by professional 
gentlemen, in chemistry, anatomy, physiology, and 
other branches of the healing art, are occasionally 
given, to which the student might superadd attendance 
on the hospital; able masters in French, Italian, music, 
writing, drawing, and merchants' accounts, are to be 
obtained; and these several means of improvement lie 
within such a compass, as to be perfectly compatible 
with each other." 1 

The college was under the direction of trustees, i.e., 
of all those who were benefactors of twenty guineas and 
upwards, or annual subscribers of two guineas and 
upwards. The trustees met yearly and appointed a 
committee to discharge the ordinary business as it 

2 The committee in 1797 consisted of: Thomas Per- 
cival, M.D., F.R.S., &c., chairman; James Touchet, 
Esq., treasurer ; Mr. George Duckworth, secretary ; 

1 The Monthly Magazine, iv., p. 1 06. * Ibid., p. 107. 


Mr. James Bailey, Mr. Samuel Marsland, Mr. Ash- 
worth Clegg, Samuel Jones, Esq., Mr. Robert Grim- 
shaw, Mr. Robert Robinson, Rev. William Hassal, 
Mr. Thomas Henry, RR.S., Rev. R. Harrison, Mr. 
Jonathan Hatfield, John Potter, Esq., William Jones, 
Esq., Mr. Richard Potter, Mr. Benjamin Potter, Mr. 
Thomas Robinson, John Philips, Esq., William Rigby, 
Esq., Robert Philips, Esq. 

This list is interesting as showing the support given to 
the college by some of the most influential gentlemen of 
Manchester. The William and Samuel Jones mentioned 
were the bankers. At that time there was a young man 
of promise, one Lewis Loyd, sometime minister of 
Dob Lane Chapel, Newton Heath ; he had been a 
student in the college, and afterwards its professor of 
belles let (res. He had married Miss Jones, the sister 
of the bankers, and joined them in business as their 
partner, taking the oversight of the London house. 
The issue of this marriage was Samuel Jones Loyd, 
the banker, and well-known authority in all matters of 
currency and finance. He subsequently became Lord 
Overstone, taking his title from the park which his 
father had bought and loved so well. 

The Rev. Thomas Barnes, D.D., who did so much 
for the establishment of the two colleges at Manchester, 
was the Presbyterian minister of Cross Street Chapel, 
having accepted the pastorate in 1780. z " He was a 
man of great ability, with a mind of varied culture, and a 
manner and address that won him numerous admirers." 
He was so popular as a preacher that the chapel had to 
be enlarged, and this spacious building was crowded with 
people who went to hear him. On the 4th June, 1792, 

1 The Rise of Nonconformity in Manchester, by Richard Wade, p. 45. 


a Church and King mob tore up the trees of St. Ann's 
Square, and carrying one of them in triumph, tried to 
batter in the doors of Cross Street Chapel, and another 
tree was taken with a similar intent to the Unitarian 
Chapel in Mosley Street. Fortunately, the doors of 
both buildings withstood the shock, but, it is said, 
though Mosley Street Chapel was closed for several 
weeks from motives of prudence, the popularity of 
Dr. Barnes and his colleague, Rev. R. Harrison, 
rendered such a step unnecessary in the case of Cross 
Street Chapel. 

Manchester grew rapidly in wealth and population. 
During the first thirty years of this century the popu- 
lation of the township of Manchester had doubled ; 
Hulme had increased fourfold ; whilst Chorlton had 
risen from a village of six hundred and seventy-five 
souls to a town of over twenty thousand inhabi- 
tants. The great increase was accompanied by corre- 
sponding activity ; the people longed for something 
more than the mere accumulation of wealth ; they 
also wanted intellectual enjoyment. During this 
period music, horticulture, natural history, and the fine 
arts had their friends and supporters. In 1823 the 
project for holding exhibitions of pictures was adopted, 
and shortly afterwards it was determined to erect a 
suitable building for the housing of these treasures. 
For this purpose the Royal Institution was built, and 
completed in 1830; the exhibitions meanwhile being 
held in King Street. In the year 1829 Mr. Wm. R. 
Whatton, F.S.A., addressed two letters to his fellow 
governors of the institution, in which he boldly 
advocated the establishment of a university at Man- 
chester. The first letter was issued in March, and its 
title page explains the letter. It contained "proposals 


for altering and extending the present plan of the 
institution, and for giving it the power and efficient 
form of an university, accompanied by a sketch of the 
outline and various details of the system of education 
therein, submitted to the consideration and approbation 
of the public." 

Mr. Whatton urged the claims of a large and growing 
population, and, while admitting that much had been 
done both for elementary education and for the social 
wants of the people, urged that they were capable of 
much extension, and might " easily be made available 
to every person desirous of benefiting by the surest and 
most efficient preparation for ulterior advancement, and 
for the acquisition of the higher branches of an uni- 
versity education." 

As the historian of "Manchester School" he could 
speak with authority. He said the revenues of the 
Free Grammar School were then upwards of .4,400 
per annum, while its expenditure did not exceed half 
that sum. He pointed out that the instruction con- 
sisted chiefly in teaching the dead languages, whilst a 
charge was made in the lower school for teaching 
reading, writing, and the simpler rules of arithmetic. 
He insisted that the feoffees were justified in introducing 
other branches of education into the school, and that 
there was no limitation of power, as the statutes required 
them to make such alterations in the institutions of the 
school as the changes of time might demand. He 
thought a thousand boys might be instructed, " not in 
classics and the rudiments of mathematics only, but in the 
modern languages, and those branches of science and the 
arts which are adapted to the wants of a large commercial 
and manufacturing country." Chetham Hospital, which 
educated eighty boys, had a net income of 3, 1 50. 


He would therefore " extend to the many those 
inestimable blessings of instruction which, under its 
present circumscribed form, are confined to the few" 
He would convert the Royal Institution, which had 
reference only to a department of the arts and sciences, 
into a university wherein any youth might avail himself 
of that system of instruction which was best calculated 
to increase his chances of success in life, and render him 
a useful member of society. He proposed a course of 
education at the Manchester University which might 
be arranged in three grand divisions of study, namely : 
ist, Literature, including ancient and modern languages, 
Greek, Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, German, and 
English; belles lettres ; history, and antiquities, and 
political economy. 2nd, Science, including geography, 
geology, mineralogy, natural history, and botany ; 
mechanics, including geometry, trigonometry, conic 
sections, algebra, &c. ; chemistry, as applicable to both 
commerce and the arts ; anatomy, physiology, surgery, 
medicine, and midwifery. 3rd, The Arts, including 
painting, sculpture, engraving, architecture, and music. 
There should also be sound courses of lectures and 
expositions on the civil and common law, and on the 
art of pleading and conveyancing, as well as on juris- 
prudence in general. Modern languages and political 
economy were especially urged as of value to the future 
merchant. " There should also be lectures on engineer- 
ing, and the application of mechanical philosophy to the 

The new building would be most admirably adapted 
for the purposes of education; the governors might 
have the right of nominating students, and the pro- 
fessors should be paid by the fees. 

The second letter, published three months after the 


first, is largely taken up in replying to objections made 
to the scheme. The "religious difficulty," among 
other things, cropped up, and as it gave trouble in 
the early organisation of the Owens College it may be 
worth while to point out how it was met twenty years 

'"If ever a University be founded in Manchester," 
said Mr. Whatton, " where education is to be brought 
home to every man's door, it must, of necessity, be done 
in such a way as to be entirely consistent with the 
integrity of individual religious opinion. The establish- 
ment must be equally open to all persons, whether of 
the church or dissenters, and they must provide them- 
selves with religious instruction apart, either at home, 
or in the various places of worship they are accustomed 
to frequent. 

"It is exceedingly difficult, moreover, to discover 
why a university, where many things are to be taught, 
and where day scholars only are to assemble, should be 
necessarily obliged to have theological lectures and 
public prayers any more than three or four schools 
devoted to different branches of instruction ; or why, 
because there are assembled under one roof teachers of 
Greek, Latin, anatomy, and mathematics, a professor 
of theology should also be there, when no one would 
think of connecting that study with the others I have 
enumerated if taught separately in different places. No 
less difficult is it to explain the grounds of alarm felt by 
some persons, lest the principles of youth should be 
injured, and their religious impressions weakened, by 
attending those lectures in one place where no theology 
is taught and no attendance on public worship required, 

T A Second Letter to the Governors of the Royal Institution, p. 5. By W. R. 
Whatton. 1829. 



while the same youth may, with perfect safety, frequent 
the like lectures in different places, without any religious 
instruction or discipline whatever." 

It was proposed to have two distinct classes of 
students those who should enter as members of the 
university to full courses and occasional students. 

It was suggested that the management of the univer- 
sity should be vested in twenty-four governors, the six 
who made the fewest attendances to retire annually. 
The council was to make all, appointments and enact all 
rules and regulations whether relating to the course of 
study or to discipline. 

The fees might be for a full course 20 per annum, 
part to be kept by the university, the remainder to be 
paid to the professors. 

Such was the wise and liberal proposal ; nothing, 
however, came of the scheme. 

The progress of Manchester during the decade of 
1 830-40 was great, notwithstanding the panic of 1 837-38. 
Its rateable value had risen to a million sterling, and 
probably no year of the ten had been better than 1836, 
or at least the early part of it. Great activity manifested 
itself. The newspapers were crowded with advertise- 
ments of new schemes of improvements, and for the 
making or losing of money. The editor of the 
Manchester Guardian called attention to the subject on 
April 3Oth, 1836, and said : " Here is the amount, let our 
readers ponder it well. One hundred and four companies, 
with a nominal capital of ^"38,000,000 sterling ! Are 
not we justified in asking if people are mad ? " These 
schemes were for Manchester and Liverpool only. 
Mr. William Fairbairn, 1 with the artistic aid of Mr. 

1 Observations on Improvements of the town of Manchester, particularly as regards 
the importance of blending in those improvements, the Chaste and Beautiful with 
the Ornamental and Useful. 1836. 


James Nasmyth, published a work in which he advocated 
the building of a new exchange and university, with 
streets and crescents of costly structures. 

The Athenaeum was established with a roll of four 
hundred members. The Statistical Society was busily 
engaged in collecting information as to the education of 
the people. 

On the Qth April appeared an advertisement of a 
proprietary school, to be built by a company. The 
capital was to consist of five hundred shares of ^50 
each, bearing interest at not more than four per cent. 
Each proprietor might nominate one pupil for each 
share held by him, but no one was to hold more than 
four shares. Its design was " to provide a course of 
education for youth, comprising classical learning, 
mathematical and commercial instruction, and such 
modern languages and other branches of science and 
general literature as it may from time to time be prac- 
ticable and advantageous to introduce, combined with 
religious and moral instruction, in conformity with the 
principles of the Church of England." 

Wheeler 1 gives fuller details, with a list of the com- 
mittee. A plot of land was bought, but the scheme 
appears to have collapsed before any building was com- 

During the month of May, Mr. James Simpson, of 
Edinburgh, lectured in Manchester, on education and 
the model school at Edinburgh. This led to an attempt 
to form a general education association. 

But the most important educational event of the year 
was the reading of a paper before the Manchester 
Statistical Society by Mr. Harry Longueville Jones, 

1 History of Manchester, pp. 393-4. 


a master of arts of Cambridge. This paper was pub- 
lished in pamphlet form during the summer, at the 
expense of Mr. James Heywood, F.R.S., and led to 
important results. Its title was, Plan of a University 
for the town of Manchester. 1836. 

In the preface the author professed himself intimately 
acquainted with one of the great universities, and having 
seen the defects of the system he wished to generalise 
his enquiries and ideas, and to consider the state of 
university education as existing in the whole United 

This led him to believe that the time was ripe for a 
university in the north-west, and that the best locality 
would be Manchester. Public opinion had of late been 
much given to the subject of education. The older 
universities were found to be inadequate to the necessi- 
ties of the nation. This was evidenced, not only by 
discussions in Parliament, but by the formation of 
colleges at London, Durham, Bristol, &c. 

The old colleges were unsatisfactory on account of 
(a) Expense. 
(<5) Their antiquated system of education. 

(c) Their religious exclusiveness. 

(d) The inconvenience of their geographical posi- 


(e) And the bad consequences of a distant removal 

from home. 

Manchester was a suitable place for a university, not 
only for its large population, but also for the wealth and 
intelligence of the people of the town and district. 
"In all directions," said the writer, 1 "the circle of 
Manchester is full of life and intelligence, manufactures 

1 Plan, &<:., p. 8. 


of every kind occupy the inhabitants of the towns ; the 
movement of money is immense ; commercial activity 
is carried to an extraordinary pitch ; mechanical 
ingenuity receives there daily new developments ; the 
minds of men are in a state of electric communication 
of ideas ; their political sentiments indicate the restless 
vigour of a rising and sturdy people ; their religious 
opinions are full of fervour and piety. Yet one thing 
still is wanting the vast population of South Lancashire 
wants a centre of intelligence and moral improvement ; 
it requires one if not two ' seminaries of sound learning 
and religious education.' ' 

Of late years there had been much material, but little 
educational progress. Mr. Jones attributed this to the 
rapid development of the cotton trade, and the absorption 
in its pursuit, which not only fully engaged the attention 
of the seniors, but caused boys of fourteen to be taken 
to business. He deplored this, and urged that with so 
large a population a college might be supported, and in 
weighty words he gave his reasons for affording that 
higher education to youth in the neighbourhood of their 
own homes. 

"Whereon," said he, 1 "the advantages of public 
education can be combined with the care and protection 
of parental solicitude, there the students' moral progress 
will generally keep pace with the intellectual ; the 
domestic habits, which are such efficacious protectors 
of the virtuous ones, will remain in full force, and will 
not only not interfere with, but will promote, by regu- 
larizing the effect of study. 

" Indeed, one of the main causes of the idleness and 
moral deterioration, which but too often affect a very 

1 Plan, &c., pp. 12-14. 


large number of the students of the ancient universities, 
is to be found in their total removal from all parental 
inspection at a very critical time of life. Freed from 
the wholesome constraint of domestic morality, furnished 
with the means of much enjoyment, and thrown into 
contact with hundreds of others equally ardent and 
equally unguarded youths, the student has but a feeble 
check to oppose his own passions and the intoxicating 
enthusiasm of example, if he has no stern necessity for 
exertion, no restless ambition to tear him away from the 
vortex of pleasure. But this is precisely the predica- 
ment in which the son of a wealthy family generally 
finds himself placed; he has no stimulus acting upon 
him except the love of intellectual fame, or the foretaste 
of the reward of mental excellence ; and how rarely can 
the youthful mind be found that is sensible of the action 
of such causes ! In young men, such as are to be met 
with in this class of society, the constant control of 
parental authority is a most efficacious method of main- 
taining a moral check upon their headstrong passions, 
and the mild voice of a mother or sister produces more 
effect than the anathemas of rustication or expulsion, 
pronounced from the chancellor's chair of the most 
learned universities. 

" Independently of the moral good, much intellectual 
benefit would result from the proximity of home; idle- 
ness would not only be prevented, but diligence would 
be promoted by the consciousness of having the anxious 
eyes of relatives and friends ever directed to the 
academic success of the individual. At the universities, 
a young man knows that little beyond the fact of his 
graduating at such or such a period travels as far as his 
native place, and that even then the merits of his exami- 
nation are but imperfectly understood. During the 


three years of his college course he may deceive his 
friends, who only learn the real state of the case at 
the close, whereas the student who is near home finds 
both his joys and his sorrows, his triumphs and dis- 
graces, known immediately by his friends. In the one 
case he is stimulated by success, in the other he is 
shamed by failure." 

"The university to be worthy of its name should 
dispense knowledge in all its branches. Its com- 
munication must be kept as free as possible, and must 
not degenerate into a mere system of authority, but 
the student's own intellectual labour should be called 
into constant and active requisition; and he should be 
subjected to frequent examinations to test what he had 

Mr. Jones then laid down his plan for establishing 
the university and its support. 

The curriculum was to be wide, and, whilst clinging 
to the subjects taught in the old colleges, was to be 
thrown open to science in all its departments, and 
to the modern languages. 

The course of study, and the method for main- 
taining the chairs from the fees of students, were 
almost similar to those afterwards adopted at Owens 

The general condition of education in Manchester at 
this time was exceedingly bad. The Statistical Society 
took a census in 1834, and their report is deplorable in 
the extreme. The most hopeful feature, imperfect as 
it was, was the teaching in the Sunday schools ; but 
this was mainly for the training, the religious discipline, 
and the intercourse with persons of better education 
and higher social position than the scholars had among 
their ordinary associates. 


The attendances 1 at Sunday schools were half as 
many more as those in all the dame and common day 
schools put together. 

A comparison was made between the efficient system 
adopted in Prussia, and the deplorably bad condition 
of things in Manchester; a comparison that applied 
with as much force to the teachers as the scholars; for 
whereas in the former country the teacher was specially 
trained for his office, and was not allowed to assume it 
till he had passed a satisfactory examination, 2 " in Eng- 
land the education of the lower classes is left, with the 
few exceptions of charity schools, in the hands of 
ignorant and uneducated men, who are often destitute 
of every qualification for their office, and have under- 
taken it only because they found this the easiest means 
of gaining a subsistence, and frequently in consequence 
of accident or bodily infirmity." 

The remedy suggested was, therefore, a specially 
trained staff of men for their important duties. 

In an address to the members of the Manchester 
Athenaeum, at their first general meeting, on the nth 
January, 1836, the president, Mr. James Heywood, 
referred to the establishment of the College of Arts and 
Science at Manchester in 1783, and said: 3<< But its 
own merits were not at that time sufficient for the 
undertaking. The spirit of intellectual improvement 
required half a century more to elapse before it arrived 
at its full development. Now, such a college is not only 
wanted, but actually called for in Manchester. 
A general interest is already excited in favour of the 
establishment of a college in Manchester." 

1 Report on the state of Education in the borough of Manchester in 1834, p. 17. 
Second edition. 1837. 

a Report on the state of Education in the borough of Manchester in 1834, p. 19. 
3 Address, &c., pp. 13-14. 


The venerable gentleman who spoke these words 
fifty years ago, and who has done so much for 
the cause of education at Manchester and elsewhere, 
writes to say that he invited Mr. H. L. Jones to be 
his guest, and while in his company the scheme for 
establishing a college at Manchester was discussed 
and settled ; Mr. Hey wood being at the expense of 
publishing the pamphlet. This scheme was so warmly 
taken up by many of the best men of the town, and was 
so completely on the lines of the Owens College, that 
it deserves a record of its rise, progress, and extinction. 

A circular was issued October 3ist, 1836, in which it 
was stated that a number of gentlemen having, after 
consultation, concurred as to the expediency of esta- 
blishing in Manchester a College for General Education, 
the recipient was requested to attend a preparatory 
meeting to be held on Thursday, loth November, at the 
York Hotel. 

The meeting was held and a report of it was published 
in the newspapers as under : 


" A meeting, convened by a circular emanating from the Pine 
Street School of Medicine, was held at the York Hotel, on the zoth 
November, 1836, at which about forty gentlemen, of various profes- 
sions, were present. 

" Robert Brandt, Esq. , was called to the chair. 

"Mr. Thomas Turner, on being requested by the chairman to 
explain the purpose for which the meeting had been summoned, 
proceeded to point out the importance of establishing in Manchester 
a college, to be connected with the Metropolitan University, recently 
constituted by charter from His Majesty. After shewing the import- 
ance of the medical schools to existing universities here and abroad, 
Mr. Turner stated that he was empowered by his colleagues in the 
Royal School of Medicine and Surgery to offer their assistance in 
establishing such a college, to which they were willing to transfer 



their museums, subject to certain restrictions, which would be 
explained at a future time. Mr. Turner concluded by reading a 
series of suggestions having reference to the immediate establishment 
of the proposed college. 

" It was the opinion of the meeting that it would be premature to 
adopt any final plan until time had been afforded for further consi- 
deration of the subject ; and the following resolutions were then 
passed unanimously : 

" i. That the best thanks of this meeting are due to Mr. Turner and 
the other gentlemen connected with the Royal School of Medicine 
and Surgery, for bringing the subject of the establishment of a college 
in Manchester before their fellow townsmen, and for their handsome 
offer of contributions and co-operation. 

" 2. That this meeting is strongly impressed with the importance 
and necessity of establishing at this time, in the town of Manchester, 
a college for general education ; and that a committee be appointed 
to prepare a report on this subject, to be submitted to a public 

" 3. That the following gentlemen be invited to act as a committee, 
with power to add to their number : 


The Boroughreeve and 
Mr. Robt. Brandt. 
*Dr. J. L. Bardsley. 
Mr. Benj. Braidley. 
Jno. Bradshaw. 

* H. H. Birley. 
Richd. Birley. 

Rev. Jno. Birt. 

Mr. Danl. Broadhurst. 

,, Edw. Brooke. 

,, Jno. Brooks. 

W. R. Callender. 
Rev. Dr. Calvert. 
Mr. Thos. Cooke. 

Thos. Cooke, jr. 

Richd. Cobden. 
Rev. Jas. Crook. 
*Mr. S. D. Darbishire. 

* Jno. Davies. 

Constables of Manchester. 
Mr. Wm. Fairbairn. 

* Thos. Fawdington. 
Saml. Fletcher. 

*Dr. Fleming. 
Mr. Jno. F. Foster. 

Wm. Garnett. 

Lot Gardiner. 
Rev. Jno. Gatliffe. 
Mr. R. H. Greg. 
Rev. N. W. Gibson. 
Mr. J. C. Harter. 
"Dr. Henry. 
Mr. B. Hey wood. 

* Jas. Hey wood. 
Alex. Henry. 

Jos. Heron. 
Thos. Hilton. 
H. Houldsworth. 


Mr. Eaton Hodgkinson. 
Rev. Wm. Huntington. 
Mr. Jos. Jordan. 

* Thos. Langton. 

* Wm. Langton. 
Jno. Leisler. 

E. H. Levyssohn. 

* Edw. Lloyd 

* E. J. Lloyd. 
Dr. Lyon. 

Mr. Jno. Macvicar. 

Richd. Marsden. 

Hy. Mc.Connel. 

Wm. Mc.Connel. 
*Rev. Dr. Me. All. 
Mr. Jas. Murray. 
Rev. Alex. Munro. 
Mr. Wm. Neild. 

Hy. Newbery. 

Edw. N orris. 

Richd. Ormerod. 
*Rev. R. Parkinson. 

* Dr. Pendlebury. 
*Dr. Phillips. 

Mr. B. Price. 
Shakespear Phillips. 

The names marked with 

Mr. Thos. Potter. 
Edmd. Potter. 
Jno. Railton. 
,, Saml. Robinson. 

* Hy. Romilly. 

,, Jno. Roberton. 
Wm. Slater. 

* Thos. Sharp. 
Rev. O. Sergeant. 
Mr. Richd. Smith. 

Martin Schunck. 
*Rev. Jno. Jas. Tayler. 
Mr. Hy. Tootal. 
Thos. Townend. 

* Thos. Turner. 
Jas. A. Turner. 
Absm. Watkin. 

Jno. B. Wanklyn. 
Rev. C. D. Wray. 
Mr. Saml. Walker. 

T. J. Wilkinson. 

T. W. Winstanley. 

,, Jas. Wood. 

* G. W. Wood. 
Rev. Robt. Wood. 

a (*) are the sub-committee. 

They suggested . . . "that as regards the Faculty of Arts, 
the number of professorships first created should not exceed six, and 
they are of opinion that the classes to be now enumerated embrace 
those branches of instruction which are of greatest interest and 

" i. Mathematics, pure and mixed. 

" 2. Chemistry, with the allied branches of physical science. 

" 3. Natural history, with physical geography. 

" 4. Classical literature. 

" 5. English literature, with moral and intellectual philosophy. 

"6. History, with economical and political philosophy. 

" They are further of opinion that it will be desirable to establish 
in connection with the proposed college a school of design and classes 


for the study of modern European languages. As respects the esta- 
blishment of a Medical Faculty, your sub-committee have adopted 
the following resolution : 

" ' That it appears to this sub-committee essential that a medical 
department should form a constituent element of the contemplated 
college ; but the committee are not at present prepared to determine 
the basis on which such department should be formed.' 

" The subject of lectures on law has already occupied the attention 
of the sub-committee, and they purpose to report at a future period 
to the general committee the result of their deliberations. 

" It has been the opinion of the sub-committee that it would be 
premature to propose the erection of a building until the experience 
of a few years has shown to what the wants of the institution might 
extend; but as the course of their future deliberations will be 
materially affected by this question, they are anxious to obtain either 
a confirmation of their views from the general committee, or to 
receive from them instructions to guide them in their future plans." 

Such was the scheme. 

The government of the college was to be vested in 
a president, vice-president, treasurer, and twenty-four 
members of the council, who were to be elected by the 
subscribers ; six of them to retire annually. 

The college was to be maintained by annual sub- 
scriptions. Election to the council was to be vested 
in annual subscribers of ^3. 35. and upwards, and in 
benefactors of ,31. los. and upwards. Two votes were 
to be given to subscribers of 6. 6s. a year, and to 
benefactors of 63 or to a subscriber of $. 35. if he 
were also a benefactor of ^31. IDS. A guarantee fund 
was to be raised to secure the income of the professors 
for five years. 

The classes were to be held at the Royal Institution. 

The council were to select seven of their number to 
be a committee of management. 

The senate was to consist of the principal and the 
professors ; the principal to be elected for one year 
only, but to be eligible for re-election. 


'In the spring of 1837 the sub-committee proposed 
to elect a medical faculty in connection with the college. 
There were then two rival medical schools, one in Pine 
Street, the other in Marsden Street. Jealousies had 
unfortunately arisen between the schools, and although 
these seemed to have been composed by the energy of 
the committee, they ultimately rendered it impossible 
to prepare a course of lectures by joint action for the 
season of 1837-8, and before another year had passed 
the college scheme had been abandoned. Very few 
pupils came forward to avail themselves of the oppor- 
tunity of higher education : the times were not yet ripe. 

At the opening of the winter session of the Pine 
Street School, the lecturer, Mr. John Davies, gave 
forcible expression to the sentiments held by not a few 
of the better educated men of Manchester. He said 
in the course of his remarks: 3 " No class of pupils 
presenting themselves for examination were better pre- 
pared than those educated in Manchester; the facilities 
for professional acquirements were in Manchester 
superior in some respects to what they are in London. 
. . . So anxious, indeed, had the members of the 
Pine Street School been to extend the means of a 
provincial education, that they, some time ago, made 
arrangements for the foundation of a college in Man- 
chester, and convened a meeting of their townsmen to 
co-operate in the undertaking. Difficulties had how- 
ever arisen to occasion delay; but the prospect had not 
been relinquished. The advantages of a college in 
Manchester would be too numerous for him to specify. 
It would be not only of the greatest importance in 
respect to the liberal education of the medical student, 

1 From the MS. Minute Book, from which the remaining information has been 
obtained. * Manchester Guardian, October 2nd, 1837. 


but it would, at the same time, afford, to gentlemen of 
other professions, and the public in general, a source ot 
instruction for which they were now obliged to resort 
to a distance. It would raise the character of the 
town, it would supply the greatest desideratum, it 
would be worthy of an enlightened, a wealthy, and an 
influential population, it would be the noblest legacy 
to the rising generation. The intellectual light which 
it would soon emit would not only shed its splendour 
over the community, but be seen reflected by all our 
other institutions." 

The Manchester Academy, which was removed to 
York in 1803, came back to Manchester in 1840. Its 
scope was widened, and its doors were to be thrown 
open to cleric and lay, and no test or subscription was 
to be enforced. 

A royal warrant was obtained affiliating the college 
with the University of London. 

The college had the benefit of lectures in history and 
belles lettres, from Rev. John Kenrick, M.A., and the 
following appointments were made: Rev. R. Wallace 
to the chair of critical and exegetical theology; Rev. 
J. G. Robberds to that of Hebrew, Chaldee, and Syriac; 
Rev. J. J. Tayler to that of ecclesiastical history, and 
Rev. James Martineau to that of mental and moral 
philosophy. Mr. F. W. Newman, B.A., was professor 
of the Greek and Latin languages, and lecturer on the 
grammatical structure of the English language and 
composition. Mr. Robert Finlay, B.A., was professor 
of pure and mixed mathematics; and Mr. M. L. Phillips 
was professor of physical science and natural history. 
There were also teachers of French and German, and 
lecturers on civil engineering. 

The first session opened with twenty-eight students, 


and the second session had thirty-four students : eleven 
entering the divinity course and twenty-three the arts 

These numbers, unfortunately, were not kept up, but 
slowly decreased in the face of strenuous efforts on the 
part of the governors to maintain their high standard 
of training. 

The prospect of the establishment of the Owens 
College was a cause of congratulation to the committee, 
who state: '"The committee desire to direct attention 
to the munificent bequest of the late John Owens, Esq., 
a merchant of Manchester. By the will of that gentle- 
man, the bulk of his fortune is left to trustees, to found 
a collegiate institution in Manchester, open to persons 
of every variety of creed, and free from every religious 
test. The committee congratulate the supporters of 
Manchester New College on this important event, not 
merely as a public recognition of the great principle 
that education should not be fettered by a religious 
test, but as affording the prospect of the establishment 
of an institution in Manchester, to which the students 
of the college may perhaps hereafter resort, to receive 
at least a portion of their literary and scientific instruc- 

In 1848 a committee was appointed to consider the 
plans of University College, London, and of the Owens 
College, with reference to the interests of Manchester 
New College. 

At a meeting of the committee, held December 1 7th, 
1851, a report on the Owens College was presented, 
wherein it was stated that the total number of students 
at Owens College was fifty-eight. Of these there were 

1 Report of the Manchester New College, 1847. 


fourteen students from the Lancashire Independent 
College, out of a total of thirty-one attending the senior 
and junior classes. 

The committee thought it premature to advise a 
connection with Owens College, as the college had not 
been sufficiently tested ; they therefore recommended 
the trustees to postpone any consideration of an alliance 
with the college. 

The following year it was determined to remove the 
college to London and connect it with University 
College. The number of students had dwindled down 
to eleven, of whom four only took the Arts course. 

In the report of the Lancashire Independent College, 
Manchester, presented to their subscribers at the annual 
meeting, December 23rd, 1846, attention was drawn to 
the proposed establishment of a college at Manchester, 
in the following words : 

x " The great question of the day, and that which is likely to be 
such for some time to come, is education. 

" All classes appear to be impressed with the importance of more 
thoroughly instructing the masses of the people, and the most 
enlightened men in the kingdom are directing their earnest attention 
to the consideration of the methods in which that great object may 
be best realised. 

" None can reasonably doubt that, as the result of so much interest 
and discussion, some more effectual means will be adopted to promote 
the mental and moral elevation of the community. 

" In addition to this desire, with regard to a more extended popular 
instruction, it is increasingly felt that there is need of more lay 
colleges, such as may secure a university education to larger numbers 
than can at present acquire it. 

" With such an institution a university based upon liberal 
principles the town and neighbourhood of Manchester will ere long 
be provided, the munificent bequest of the late Mr. Owens having 
placed that measure beyond reasonable doubt. 

1 Report of the Lancashire Independent College for 1846, pp. 14-15. 


" With these signs of the times, your committee heartily sympathise, 
regarding them as indications that the age of popular ignorance and 
superstition is passing away. 

"These facts, however, do but the more powerfully evince to them 
the paramount importance of providing for the churches a ministry 
whose education shall keep pace in every respect with the intellectual 
progress of the times. 

" In this view they regard it as a propitious circumstance that 
this theological college should have been called into existence in 
the van of such efforts, in place of being left to appear in the rear 
of them." 

The Lancashire Independent College is an institution 
which was founded mainly to prepare young men for 
the ministry in connection with the Congregational 
churches. At the inauguration of the Owens College 
it sent its students to pursue their arts course in that 
institution, and with a comparatively brief interval it 
has continued that early practice. It has now (1884) 
thirty-two of its students in the classes of the Owens 

A brief sketch of the history of an institution which 
from the outset has felt the value of the Owens College 
will not be out of place in these pages. 

Towards the close of the last century, Mr. Robert 
Spear, a wealthy cotton merchant of Manchester, 
regretted the want of evangelical preaching in Lanca- 
shire, and, at his own expense, maintained several young 
men during their training by the Rev. William Roby, 
sometime the minister of the Independent Chapel in 
Cannon Street, and afterwards of Grosvenor Street, 
Piccadilly, Manchester. This continued till 1809, when 
Mr. Spear removed from the neighbourhood. 

'In the following year a "grammar school and 
academy" was opened in Leaf Square, Salford, the 

1 A Brief History of 'the Congregational Union, By R. Slate. 1840. p. 29. 


former taking lay and the academy receiving clerical 
students. I In the year 1815 a dissolution took place, 
and the academy was transferred to Blackburn, where 
it continued to pursue a useful and increasingly pros- 
perous course for a quarter of a century, when, owing 
to the rapid increase of trade, and of the wealth and 
influence of Manchester, it was determined in 1838 to 
remove the academy to that town. " The measure thus 
entered upon," says the report, 2 " has been received by 
the county with a unanimity of approval and a cheer- 
fulness of liberality worthy of the object." Funds were 
raised, a site of land was selected at Whalley Range, 
and the building was erected. 

The Lancashire Independent College began its career 
as a teaching institution on April 26th, 1843, under the 
presidency of the Rev. Robert Vaughan, D.D., for- 
merly professor of history at University College, 
London; the Rev. Samuel Davidson, D.D., taking the 
chair of theology, and Mr. C. P. Mason, B.A., the 
chair of Greek and Latin languages and literature. 

The object of the college was to train young men 
and 3 " other men for the Christian ministry of the 
Independent denomination, but the committee might 
admit within its walls for board and instruction, and 
other privileges, any person or persons, although such 
person or persons shall not be of the Independent 
denomination of dissenting Christians, nor a member or 
members of any Independent church, provided always 
that such person or persons shall be of evangelical 
religious sentiments." 

1 For an account of this institution see A Historical Narrative of the Blackburn 
Academy, By R. Slate. 1840. 

2 Twenty -second Report of the Blackburn Academy, p. II. 
3 Trust Deed of the Lancashire Independent College, Manchester, 1844, pp. 18-25. 


The present rule of the college is that men must 
have graduated at one of the universities of the United 
Kingdom before they enter upon the theological course; 
and if they have not graduated when they seek admission 
to the college they must take their arts course at the 
Owens College, with a view to graduating at the 
Victoria University. 



"There is never the possibility of knowing the extent to which a philanthropic 
action may operate usefully, because the good works again multiply in like manner, 
and may continue thus to produce valuable fruits long after you cease to tend the 
growth of them. . . . How little is to be dreaded the eternity of evil ; whilst 
goodness or virtue, by the very force of example and by its own indestructible 
nature, must go on increasing and multiplying for ever. " RICHARD COBDEN to 
George Foster, April I4th, 1836. 

'THHE obituary column of the Manchester Guardian 
*- of August ist, 1846, contained the following 
notice : 

" On the 2 Qth ult., aged 55 years, John Owens, 
Esquire, of Nelson Street." 

In a leading article of the same paper, five days 
later, headed " Collegiate Education in Manchester," 
reference was made to past attempts to give higher 
education in the town and the cause of their failure, 
and of the need of something better than was then 
afforded by the schools. It added : 

"It is with extreme gratification, then, that we give insertion to the 
following communication : ' We understand that the late John Owens, 
Esquire, whose death was announced in our obituary last week, has 
disposed of a considerable portion of his large property so as to 
confer an important benefit upon the community, and erect a lasting 
monument to his memory. By his will, after numerous liberal 
bequests to his own relatives and connections, and to the local 
charities, he has given the residue of his personal estate to trustees, 
to be applied for the purpose of affording to youths of the age of 
fourteen years and upwards instruction in the branches of education 
taught at the English universities, free from the religious tests which 


limit the extension of university education. The trustees for this 
purpose include the mayor, dean, and parliamentary representatives 
of Manchester, with other gentlemen of local reputation and influence. 
The recipients of the benefits of the trust fund are not restricted to 
any local limits, but preference is to be given in case of need to the 
children of the inhabitants of the borough and its vicinity, within 
two miles, and in the next place, of the parliamentary division of 
South Lancashire. The amount of the fund which will eventually be 
devoted to this important purpose cannot, of course, be yet known, 
but we understand that it will probably be such as to admit of 
carrying out the testator's benevolent views on an extensive plan.' " 

Of the founder of the College very little is known. 
'His father was one Owen Owens, who was born at 
Holy well, in Flintshire, and who, whilst very young, 
was attracted to Manchester as a rapidly increasing 
town, where an active young man might find employ- 
ment. 2 He was born in 1764, and when twenty-four 
years old married Sarah Humphreys, a lady some six 
or seven years his senior. John Owens, the first fruit 
of this marriage, was born in 1790; two brothers 
followed within the next four years, but they died in 

3 About the year 1800 John Owens was sent to the 
academy of Mr. Huthersal. The school was situated 
on Ardwick Green, at the end nearest to town, whence 
it could command a view of the whole green and of 
the country beyond. 

Mr. John Huthersal opened this school towards the 
close of the last, and continued it for a generation during 
the present, century ; his name appears in the Man- 

1 Mr. J. P. Aston, in a preface to Introductory Lectures at Owens College, 1852. 

"Information of Mr. J. C. Lockhart. 

3 Sir John Potter stated at the opening of the College Session of 1851-2 that 
Owens was first sent to Mr. Race's academy in Princess Street. See Manchester 
Examiner, October 4th, 1851. Scholes's Directory for 1794 gives it as Race and 
Dawson, classical and mathematical school, 81, Market Street Lane ; Dean's, 1804, 
Henry Race, schoolmaster, Princess Street; house, Chorlton Row. 


Chester Directory in 1797, and is found as late as 1828.' 
He married a daughter of Mr. Joseph Saul. Another 
of Mr. Saul's daughters married the Rev. Mr. Howson, 
second master of Giggleswick Grammar School, and 
father of the Very Rev. John Saul Howson, D.D., 
Dean of Chester. Mr. Huthersal was the author 
of (i) A Compendious System of English Grammar, 
fourth edition, 1814; (2) Miscellaneous Admonitory 
Precepts, Practical and Moral; (3) The Tutor s and 
Scholar s Assistant, sixth edition, 1814; (4) A Key to 
the above Arithmetic; (5) Reading Lessons, adapted to the 
capacities of Children; (6) Examinations in Geography; 
(7) Elementa Latina, adapted to any Grammar of the 
Latin Tongue, third edition enlarged, 1815. He was 
a valued friend of John Dalton. He had an only son, 
Cort Huthersal, M.A., who took part in the public 
speeches at the Manchester Grammar School in 
i8i2-i4, 2 and afterwards entered St. John's College, 
Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1818 and pro- 
ceeded M.A. 1821. After his ordination he served as 
curate in the parish of Didsbury, and finally at All 
Saints' Church, Leamington. He died in 1859. 

Mr. Huthersal's academy, though roughly managed, 
had an excellent reputation in its day. It was there 
that John Owens formed the acquaintance of George 
Faulkner; the boyish attachment ripened into friend- 
ship, which increased with years, and lasted till death 
parted the old schoolfellows. Surely it may be said in 
this case that, as the child is father of the man, the 

1 In the directories of 1797, 1800, and 1804, it appears as John Huthersal, 
boarding school for gentlemen, Ardwick; in 1808, 1811, 1814, and 1815, an 
adjective is introduced and the school is for young gentlemen; in 1819-20 it is 
called an academy on Ardwick Green. 

2 Manchester School Register, iii., pt. i., p. 44, Chetham Society's publica- 
tions xciii. 


Ardwick Green Academy was the alma mater of the 
Manchester College and University ! 

The directories of Manchester 1 Scholes's, Banks's, 
Dean's, Pigot's, and Slater's tell a somewhat uniform 
tale : Owen Owens appears first as a hat-lining cutter 
and glazier, at 34, Church Street. In 1808 he had 
removed to 10, Carpenter's Lane, where the firm con- 
tinued till its dissolution. Later directories vary the 
figure, giving 10, 9, and 8 as the correct address; but 
the place was the same, the numerals simply represent 
the changing mind of the " authorities" who numbered 
the streets. 

In 181 1 Owens is described as a " furrier" in addition 
to his old business. It was probably only a variation 
when beaver hats came into fashion ? 

Sometime after 1815 Owens took his son into part- 
nership, as the entry for 1817 is "Owen Owens and 
Son, hat-lining manufacturers and furriers." In 1828 
they are styled merchants, and this continued to the end. 

The father had opened houses of business prior to 
taking his son into partnership, not only in London and 
some provincial towns, but also in Philadelphia, U.S., 
having Mr. Thomas Owen as a partner in the American 
house. The partnership was dissolved by the death of 
Thomas Owen in 1819, and the hat-lining and umbrella 
business was given up, the father and son embarking in 
that of merchants, till the death of both partners. 

So early as 1815 Owen Owens removed to his resi- 
dence, 41, Nelson Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock ; father 
and son living together. At the time Owen Owens 
took this house, and for long afterwards, Nelson Street 
was considered to be far in the country. There were 

1 From 1797 to 1843 twenty of them in the Free Reference Library. 


but few houses, and those of the best kind, most of 
them having their ample gardens in which trees and 
flowers blossomed and ripened. 

Owens's house (now The Limes) was on the south- 
east side of Nelson Street, near to the junction of 
Oxford Street. It was a convenient distance from town, 
and it was a common practice for merchants resident in 
the neighbourhood to attend the Exchange, then drive 
home to an early dinner, and return to town for three 
or four hours in the afternoon and evening. John 
Owens always rode to town and back on a stout cob, 
and was known for the punctuality of his movements. 

Mr. George Mattinson, who was Messrs. Owens' 
confidential clerk, writes: 

1 "At the time I was employed by the firm the conduct of the 
business was, and had been for many years, in the hands of the 
junior partner, who had considerable aptitude for it, and a good deal 
of hard headedness and practical common sense so characteristic of 
many Manchester merchants. He acted up to his favourite motto, 
Honestas optima politia> was very methodical in his plans and operations, 
and was considered one of the best buyers of cottons in the market. 
It was his custom to purchase calicoes and coarse woollens, which 
were packed on the premises, and shipped to China, India, the east 
coast of South America, and New York, importing hides, wheat, and 
other produce in return. He also speculated in railway and other 
shares, and lent money on them as security." 

John Owens also became a producer of cotton yarn, 
entering into partnership with his friend, George 
Faulkner, and the latter's cousin, Samuel Faulkner. 
The firm were fine spinners, having their mills- at 
Elizabeth Street, Ancoats, the two friends finding the 
money, and Samuel Faulkner, who had been a spinner 
or overlooker at A. and G. Murray's mill, taking the 
practical management of the concern. Owen Owens, 

1 Mr. J. C. Lockhart's paper, iv., p. 138, Manchester Literary Club's Proceedings. 


who was then an old man, does not seem to have 
joined this concern, and it is probable that he had 
virtually retired from the merchant's business. He died 
at his house in Nelson Street in 1844, at the age of 
eighty. The portrait of him at Owens College repre- 
sents a sturdy, jovial sort of man, one who would live 
on good terms with the world, but might be easily 
roused to anger. 

The son inherited the whole of his father's property. 

There is no authentic portrait of John Owens, and 
the beautiful marble profile by Woolner is taken from 
a silhouette. Mr. Mattinson says the medallion does 
not well represent Owens's features. The original has 
been described as having been rather above the middle 
height and very broadly built ; and had brown hair and 
whiskers, and a nervous, restless eye. His facial skin 
was rough, and his mouth was large and coarse. He 
appears to have been very shy and reserved, and 
although a frequenter of the Exchange was known 
to few, confining himself to two or three intimate 
friends. In later life he was delicate, and had a rupture 
of a blood-vessel previous to the seizure which killed 
him. He only survived his father two years. 

It is not known what were the religious tenets in 
which he was brought up, but in his vigorous manhood 
he attended the Independent Chapel in Mosley Street, 
then under the pastoral care of the eloquent and learned 
Dr. Samuel M'All. At one time he had a solitary sitting 
in the gallery of this chapel, 1 but this was probably in 
the time of the previous minister. It is said that in 
later days he occupied a large square pew, and when 
Dr. M' All's popularity caused the chapel to be crowded 

1 Slugg's Manchester Fifty Years Ago, p. 143. 


John Owens was asked to allow strangers to sit with 
him or take a smaller pew, and being offended at the 
suggestion he left the place. 1 This would be previous 
to 1839. In his later years he worshipped at St. 
Saviour's Church, near to his own home, and continued 
to do so up to the time of his death. 

Owens's life was not fruitful in events of public 
interest, but there were several incidents in his private 
history which may be referred to. The principal feature 
is undoubtedly his close intimacy with and true friend- 
ship for George Faulkner. It is not very common for 
schoolboy friendships to continue through life, but in 
this case it was so. The habits and opinions of the 
two men were entirely opposed. Faulkner, in his 
earlier days, was a bright, handsome, and active man, 
fond of dress and appearance. Owens was dull and 
heavy, plain of feature, and careless of dress. Faulkner 
was a strong Churchman and Tory; Owens was a Dis- 
senter and Liberal Radical for those days. Faulkner 
delighted in his sisters' company, and in due time was 
solaced with wife and child; Owens lived with his 
father, and rumour went so far as to say, though un- 
justly, that no woman was allowed to live in his house. 

In business Owens was diligent and careful : his 
trade prospered, and not being extravagant his wealth 

The warehouse in Carpenter's Lane has been pulled 
down, and the site is covered by a new building. It is 
within the purlieus of Smithfield Market, and when 
approached from Tib Street is on the right-hand side. 

Gentlemen who remember the warehouse describe it 
as having been in a small courtyard shut off from the 

1 Information of the late George Hadfield, M. P. 


street by an iron railing. Here Owens stabled his 
horse; here also he stored his goods. The office was 
of fair size, but the outlook was not cheerful: the 
windows accumulated the fog and grime of the neigh- 
bourhood until an occasional and infrequent cleaning let 
in a flood of light that was dazzling to the inmates ; the 
floor was " degged" every morning, and then brushed 
over, but remained unwashed from year's end to year's 
end; the fireplace in summer was a refuge for all the 
worn-out quill-pens, ink-covered blotting-paper, torn 
letters, bits of paper, pieces of string that had accumu- 
lated, till it became a holocaust when the cold days of 
autumn returned. Nor was John Owens alone in this 
mode of carrying on business: the grand home-trade 
warehouses began first to be built in 1838-9, and many 
a fortune had been made before then in the cellars, 
low-ceilinged offices, or small warehouses in and around 
Church Street and Cannon Street. 

Owens was diligent in business, and upright withal. 
It had become notorious that one home trade house cut 
off the end, or " fented " the prints which were sold by 
them ; that in some foreign houses unjust deductions- 
under frivolous pretexts were frequently made ; and that 
it had become too common a practice to postpone pay- 
ment of accounts which had become due. There was 
nothing of this sort with Owen Owens or his son. If 
they were keen buyers, they were good payers ; when 
a bargain was made it was kept ; when pay-day 
came and accounts were presented there was no 
"putting off till next week;" when an invoice was 
forwarded there was no unjust deduction which the 
manufacturer was compelled to allow. 1 Such honour- 
able dealing will cover many faults, and if men still 

1 Testimony of William Armitage, Esq. 


living can tell of the fear they had in asking John 
Owens for a guinea to a charity, they can also testify to 
his integrity as a merchant. 

John Owens was an advanced Liberal for his day. 
His belief in the principles of free trade is best shown 
by his giving ^"50 to the fund raised by the Anti-Corn- 
Law Association. This body held a meeting on the 
loth January, 1839, when the first subscription list was 
opened ; ten days later the second list was made out, 
and in this Owens's name appears ; as the largest sum 
given in either list was ^100, it looks Bis dat quicito 
dat as if Owens was very much in earnest on the 
corn-law question. He also bequeathed ^100 to Mr. 
Cobden. Owens held very strong views about the 
injustice of the university tests which shut out Noncon- 
formists from the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge, 
and he frequently gave expression to his views ; he was 
thus quite prepared, when he made up his mind to found 
a college, to place it upon an absolutely unsectarian 
basis, without any test of creed, or subscription. 
Owens was elected a member of the Manchester 
Natural History Society, July 1 8th, 1836,' but he does 
not seem to have taken any part in the management, 
or to have attended the annual meetings. 

2 It is said that he often grumbled at the thirty-nine 
articles to his friend, and made some strong remarks 
upon them and other subjects of his dislike in the 
Prayer Book ; but Mr. Faulkner had generally the best 
of it, as he would retort, " Well, Jack, if thou dislikes 
them so much, why dost thou go to Church ? I'm a 
Churchman and like them." Owens found it easier to 
grumble than to give a logical and satisfactory answer 
to such questions. 

1 Minutes of the N. H. S., ii., p. no. 4 Information of J. Keymer, Esq. 


John Owens was buried in St. John's Churchyard, 
Deansgate. This church was a favourite place for the 
marriage of Dissenters, and many of them were buried 
in its yard. On the gravestone is inscribed " Here 
resteth the body of Owen Owens, who departed this 
life January i6th, 1844, aged 80 years. Also Sarah, 
wife of Owen Owens, who departed this life loth July, 
1816, aged 58 years. Also William, son of Owen and 
Sarah Owens, who departed this life July i6th, 1793, 
aged 6 months. Also David, their son, who departed 
this life, March I2th, 1794, aged 12 days. Also John 
Owens, who departed this life July 29th, 1846, aged 55 
years, being also the son of Owen and Sarah Owens." 

The grave is situated number nine in the twentieth 
row, on the Camp Street side (i.e., the right hand side 
from Byrom Street). The rows are numbered on the 
stone wall at Camp Street. The stone is an ordinary 
one, and is in good condition. 

On a tablet, erected by his friend George Faulkner, 
inside the church, there is the following inscription : 















PROV. iii., v. 15." 


The year after John Owens's death was one of great 
commercial depression. It followed upon the Potato 
Famine, which had desolated Ireland, and left it a prey 
to disease and starvation. In the spring of 1848 all 
Europe was agitated with political troubles: thrones 
were upset, republics were established, armies were 
marched and counter-marched, new kingdoms were 
parcelled out, and too often new tyrannies oppressed 
the people. Commerce, always so sensitive to political 
trouble, was greatly affected, and it became a slow and 
tedious work for the executors to realise Owens's estate, 
and hand over the proceeds to the trustees for educa- 
tional purposes. The loss was necessarily heavy, but 
much less than might have been expected. 

Two years nearly had elapsed before the executors 
and trustees held their first joint meeting. It was held 
1 3th June, 1848, Mr. George Faulkner, an executor 
and trustee, in the chair. 

The executors Messrs. Samuel Alcock and George 
Faulkner presented a report "of the present state of 
the testator's estate, which was read." 

The report states that at the time of his death 
Owens's estate, exclusive of his real property, com- 
prising two dwelling-houses, consisted principally of a 
considerable amount invested in railway and other 
stocks, in joint stock companies and mortgages upon 
stock, and in outstanding shipments to China and 
South America. 

The executors had proceeded to realise the estate as 
expeditiously as the nature of the property and invest- 
ments would allow. "After having applied about 
.45,000 in the payment of bequests and legacies," say 
the executors, " we have collected and invested in 
Consols ,65,928. 75. od. for the purposes of the 


educational trust. The residue of the estate devoted to 
charitable purposes consists of money in Jones, Loyd, 
and Co.'s Bank, foreign shipments not yet accounted 
for, debts not yet collected, unsold produce, and railway 
shares ; and the sum may realise to the best estimate 
we can form about ,53,000, out of which about 
; 1 2,000 will be required to discharge the legacies 
and accounts remaining unpaid." 

Unfortunately this hopeful view was not fully realised. 

Mr. George Mattinson, who was cashier to John 
Owens at the time of his death, has kindly furnished the 
following particulars of his principal's estate and of its dis- 
tribution: 1 


Cash - - ^,37,477 9 9 

Loans - 30,282 19 6 

Shares - 43> 2 53 2 

Stock (warehouse) - 3,101 5 9 

One ship - 1,150 o o 

Household and Rent - 5,725 o o 

Produce on hand - 13,623 o o 

Foreign a/c - 10,535 6 4 

Do. Joint a/c - 24,441 18 9 

Current agency - 1,680 5 8 

Total ^171,270 7 9 

Less trade debts and agency 3,244 17 4 

168,025 io 5 

The following is a statement of the legatees : 
i. Relatives. 

John Moss - - ^20,000 o o 

William Davies 500 o o 

Family and descendants of Joseph ) 

and Hannah Cash - } 'S' 000 

35,500 o o 

1 This differs in the items, but agrees in the total, with the statement published 
by Mr. Lockhart. 


2. Friends. 

George Faulkner 

Do. as executor 

Samuel Alcock do. 

Misses Faulkner (3) - 
Misses Tidswell (2) 
Edward and Mary Owen - 
Richard Cobden, M.P. 


Royal Infirmary - 
Lancasterian School - 
Chorlton Dispensary 
Female Penitentiary - 
Deaf and Dumb School - 
St. Saviour's School - 


Friends - 
Servants - 

;io,ooo o o 

1,000 o o 

1,000 o o 


500 o o 

1,000 o o 


^14,350 o o 

- ;i,ooo o o 

500 o o 




50 o o 

^1,850 o o 

-;35>5 o 

14,350 o 

1,850 o 

355 i9 

,002 18 o 

Amount due, as residue, to the) /. ,. 

Owens College trustees - -) * >c 
Less legacy duty - 9,488 1 6 6 
Less value of three) g 

annuities - -j 



^52,055 19 o 

5. Summary. 
1846. July 29. 

Amount of Estate as per inventory ;i 68,025 10 5 
Do. do. realised - - 160,058 17 o 

Do. do. loss or shrinkage 7,966 13 5 

sum received for college) fi 
irposes - - -J *** 


The account was not finally closed till May, 1857; and 
owing to accumulated interest, return of duties, and 
profitable investments in stock, the total sum received 
by the trustees amounted to ,96,942. is. id. Of this 
sum upwards of ,2,000 was expended on the college 
premises, law charges, and preliminary expenses. 




' ' Soon shall we 

Be the dead too, and that our periods 

Of life may round themselves to memory 

As smoothly as on our graves the burial sods, 

We must look to it to excel as they, 

To bear our age as far, unlimited 

By the last mind-mark, so to be revered 

By future generations, as their Dead." 

E. B. BROWNING, Casa Guidi Windows. 

T N no act of his public life did John Owens show 
* more clearly the calmness and balance of his 
judgment than in the appointment of his trustees for 
educational purposes. 

There is abundant evidence that for some time before 
his death, his mind dwelt frequently upon the collegiate 
system he hoped to establish in Manchester under his 
last will- 
He saw the great disadvantage his fellow-townsmen 
laboured under in being so far removed from the ancient 
universities, and he often dwelt, with considerable 
bitterness, upon that greater obstacle than distance 
which kept many away the subscription to articles 
and creeds which had to be* made by young men who 
were admitted within the academic halls of Oxford and 
Cambridge. He was determined to break down this 
injustice so far as he was able; he therefore made the 
trust subject to " the fundamental and immutable rule 
and condition . . . that the students, professors, 


teachers, and other officers and persons connected with 
the said institution, shall not be required to make any 
declaration as to, or submit to any test whatsoever of, 
their religious opinions, and that nothing shall be intro- 
duced in the matter or mode of education or instruction 
in reference to any religious or theological subject which 
shall be reasonably offensive to the conscience of any 
student, or of his relations, guardians, or friends, under 
whose immediate care he shall be." 

It was, therefore, of the utmost importance to the 
success of his scheme that he should select as his trus- 
tees gentlemen of unimpeachable integrity, and who 
should be sufficiently well known as to command general 
confidence and esteem. Those named in his will were : 
The Mayor of Manchester, the Dean of Manchester, 
and the members of Parliament for the borough at the 
time of his death; George Faulkner, Samuel Alcock, 
William Neild, James Heywood, Alexander Kay, 
Samuel Fletcher, Richard Cobden, John Benjamin 
Smith, John Frederick Foster, and Mark Philips, all of 
Manchester, Esquires. 

These were thoroughly representative men ; there 
were Tory and Liberal Churchmen, Independents, 
Baptists, Unitarians, and Moravians ; there was a 
dignitary of the Collegiate Church, a poet, and a man 
of high scientific culture ; lawyers of good repute ; the 
chief magistrate of the town; the two parliamentary 
representatives of the borough ; the great apostle of free 
trade ; aldermen ; and merchants. 

It was a condition of the trust that the trustees were 
to reside within fifty miles of Manchester, and that if a 
vacancy arose from any person going to live beyond 
that distance, or from any other cause of disqualifica- 
tion, the number was to be made up by cooptation, 


preference being given to the mayor and the parlia- 
mentary members of Manchester for the time being. 
Messrs. Alcock and Faulkner were executors to the will 
as well as trustees for educational purposes. 

It is well, before it is too late, to give brief biogra- 
phical sketches of these gentlemen, the short time that 
has elapsed since their death being sufficient to make 
the footprints of some of them very indistinct. 

It may almost be said of each of them as Hartley 
Coleridge wrote of Andrew Marvell : x 

"His name, indeed, is generally known, . . . but 
the detail of his daily life the simple background of 
the stirring picture the intermediate transactions 
which would make up the unity and totality of his 
story might indeed be easily supplied by imagination, 
but cannot be derived from document or tradition." 


2 George Faulkner was born in or about the year 
1790, in Oldham Street, Manchester, and married a 
daughter of Mr. George Neden, a well-known small- 
ware manufacturer, of Riga Street, the house being in 
Hanover Street. 3 He was first employed, in 1804, D Y 
Mr. Robert Appleby, a silk, cotton, and linen manufac- 
turer, of 3, Bridgewater Yard. The firm had com- 
menced as Appleby and Lever, in 1790, but the 
directories of 1804, 1808, and 1811 give it under the 
single name. In 1812 Mr. Faulkner became a partner of 
the firm as Appleby and Faulkner, he being twenty-two 
years of age. In 1829 the firm became George Faulkner 
and Co., and it still flourishes as Fallows and Keymer, 

1 Northern Worthies, i., p. I. 

2 Information of John Keymer, Esq., a business partner of Mr. Faulkner. 
3 Mr. Neden was Boroughreeve of Manchester in 1826. 


in Parker Street. Mr. Faulkner's chief business was 
prosperous, but he added to it in one branch by taking 
as partner his friend John Owens, and his cousin 
Samuel Faulkner, who was manager of the mill. The 
firm commenced business as fine spinners in a mill at the 
top end of Jersey Street, Ancoats. This business was 
not very good, and the firm had frequent disputes with 
their workpeople. During the winter of 1836 (loth 
December) a fire broke out at the mill, in the apart- 
ment occupied by some of the workpeople. There had 
been a dispute between masters and men, and some 
" hands" had been engaged to fill the places of the 
regulars who had refused to work. These were igno- 
miniously called " knobsticks" an unfortunate class of 
people who generally refuse to be bound by the rules of 
any club or society who have the temerity to say that 
their labour is a commodity they have a right to sell 
how and when they choose. 

It was generally believed that the fire was the work 
of an incendiary, but whether it was so, or from an 
accident on the part of the occupants of the sleeping- 
room, it was never sufficiently made clear. 

Owens retired from the firm shortly after this event. 
George Faulkner disposed of the business in the year 
1848 to Messrs. Armitage and Ward, now Armitage 
and Rigbys, and the transaction illustrates the character 
of both buyer and seller. 

1 Messrs. Armitage had intended to build a mill at 
Reddish, and had bought some land there for the 
purpose, when Mr. Faulkner urged them to take his 
mill in Jersey Street. The site was superior to that at 
Reddish, on account of its being nearer to the ware- 

1 Information of William Armitage, Esq. 


house, and there was a large piece of vacant land 
attached to the mill. On the whole it suited very well, 
and it was agreed that if a price satisfactory to both 
parties could be arranged the property should be bought. 

Messrs. Armitage sought the advice of a valuer 
and named a price. " Well, that is strange," said 
Mr. Faulkner, "it is exactly the amount we have it in 
our books, and it is yours; get your own lawyers to 
make the conveyance and we will sign it, and make all 
over to you." " This was done," writes Mr. Armitage, 
" without any hitch at all. I always look upon that 
purchase as the pleasantest I ever had to do with, 'twas 
said and done in a minute." 

The story has been often told, and it is believed to 
be true, that Owens wished to make his friend George 
Faulkner his heir. It is given as follows : * The friends, 
though so dissimilar in many respects, had grown up 
from boyhood, having the most perfect mutual con- 
fidence, so that they familiarly called one another 
" thee" and "thou," and they seldom allowed a day to 
pass without seeing each other. One day Owens called 
on Faulkner and said: " I have made my will and have 
left thee all, I have." " Then," said Faulkner, " thou 
may make another, I won't have it; I have quite as 
much of my own as I can answer for, and won't have 
anybody else's on my account." 

It is said they parted that day sulkily, and did not 
see each other for a week. But they were too wise to 
be blind to their respective merits, and too much 
attached to let this be a cause of quarrel. Owens called 
on his friend and asked him why he would not receive 
the money, as he had no near relative to give it to. Mr. 
Faulkner repeated his objection, and urged Owens to 

1 Information of W. Armitage, Esq. 


leave his fortune to found a college or educational 
institute; reminding him that as he had such strong 
prejudices against the tests imposed at the older English 
universities, he could enable young men to obtain an 
education equal to that of the favoured institutions 
without these hindrances. The advice was taken. 

Owens left Faulkner ^"1,000 as executor to his will, 
but it is a touching instance of the constancy of his 
friendship that in a codicil to the will, and in spite of 
the refusal of the large fortune, he left " To my friend 
George Faulkner the sum of ten thousand pounds, as a 
slight manifestation of my affection, esteem, and regard." 

Mr. Faulkner devoted much of his time and attention 
to the welfare of the fever wards, and was a trustee and 
house-visitor of them from 1830 till the time of their 
amalgamation with the Royal Infirmary in 1851. He 
took a deep interest in their management during this 
long period of twenty-two years. The hospital stood 
on a plot of land bounded by Aytoun and Chatham 
Streets, the site of the present Grand Hotel. 

Mr. Faulkner was also a deputy treasurer of the 
Royal Infirmary, and a regular and valued attendant at 
its board meetings from the year 1844 till his death. 
He seems to have been a man of singular amiability, 
modesty, and urbanity, and those who knew him best 
are loudest in their praise of him. 

When the Owens College was founded, Mr. Faulkner 
was made chairman of the trustees, and continued to 
occupy that post till enfeebled health compelled him to 
relinquish it for the less responsible position of an ordi- 
nary member of the board. 

Mr. Armitage tells a story which illustrates Mr. 
Faulkner's consideration for the feelings of others. The 
trustees wished to raise a fund of ,10,000 to enable 


them to build and equip a laboratory, and with the 
interest to meet certain expenses. Mr. Faulkner called 
on Mr. Armitage, as he frequently did, as a friend, to 
talk over current events. He happened to refer to this 
auxiliary fund, and Mr. Armitage offered to give him 
;ioo towards it. "No, don't give it me; Mr. Samuel 
Fletcher and I have this in hand, and he will be sure to 
call upon you ; give it to him, it will encourage him." 
And so it was arranged. 

It would be impossible to give an account of Mr. 
Faulkner's valuable services to Owens College without 
recording the history of that institution in its earlier 
years. Not only did he advise Owens to bestow the 
bulk of his fortune to found the college, but for several 
years he patiently realised the estate, helped in the pre- 
paration of a scheme of education, and then presided 
over the meetings of the trustees. Two circumstances 
must be recorded. 

It was thought a graceful act to celebrate the Queen's 
visit to Manchester by the foundation of a Victoria 
scholarship, and as Her Majesty was accompanied on 
this visit by the Duke of Wellington, a second scholar- 
ship, bearing the Duke's name was also given. The 
record states that on April 3rd, 1853, Mr. Foster read 
a letter stating that " a friend of his" proposed to give 
^500 to found a scholarship for proficiency in the study 
of the text of the Greek New Testament. The offer 
was received with "grateful thanks" by the trustees 
present, and Mr. Faulkner, as chairman of the meeting, 
signed the memorandum in the minute book. It ulti- 
mately became known that Mr. Faulkner himself was 
the " friend" who had given the money for the Wel- 
lington scholarship. 

When the trustees had nearly completed their educa- 


tional arrangements, they were anxious to obtain a suit- 
able building for college purposes ; ultimately the house 
in Quay Street was selected. Mr. Cobden, the owner, 
was willing to let the house at the rate of ^200 yearly, or 
to sell it for ^4,500 ; he was agreeable to take a lease 
of seven years, but he would not go beyond that term. 

The trustees did not feel justified in parting with any 
of the corpus of the estate for buildings, and in their 
difficulty Mr. Faulkner kindly offered to buy the property 
at the price named by Mr. Cobden, and to let it for 
fourteen years to the trustees at the rental of ^200 
yearly ; and gave the trustees during their tenancy an 
option of purchasing the premises at the same price of 
.4,500 if they should by act of Parliament, charter, or 
otherwise, acquire the legal capacity of making such pur- 
chase. The trustees accepted this kind offer with thanks. 

On the 3rd October, 1854, Mr. Aston stated to the 
meeting of trustees that Mr. Faulkner had executed a 
deed conveying to the other trustees the whole of the 
college buildings hitherto occupied by the trustees as 
his tenants, by way of absolute donation for the benefit 
of the college, which deed was produced and read. 

Whereupon it was moved by Mr. Neild,and seconded 
by Mr. Mark Philips, and resolved: "That the muni- 
ficent donation made by Mr. Faulkner in favour of the 
Owens College, by the conveyance of the college 
buildings, is accepted by his co-trustees with the highest 
satisfaction, and that he be requested to accept their 
grateful thanks, not only for that donation, but for his 
constant and most valuable exertions to promote in 
every way the interests and efficiency of the college." 

On the appointment of Mr. R. C. Christie, two 
months later, to the professorship of Political Economy, 
it was resolved " That owing to Mr. Faulkner's muni- 


ficent gift of the college buildings, the new professor- 
ship be called The Faulkner Professorship of Political 
Economy and Commercial Science." 

On the 5th August, 1858, Mr. Faulkner tendered his 
resignation as chairman of trustees, owing to age and 
ill-health. In accepting the resignation, it was resolved : 
" That this meeting accepts with much regret Mr. 
Faulkner's resignation of the office of chairman of the 
trustees of Owens College, which he has held since the 
commencement of their deliberations, and the duties of 
which he has discharged with so much ability, attention, 
and courtesy, and with so much advantage to the 
interests of the trust. And they desire to record their 
grateful sense of his services in that capacity, as well as 
of the many other benefits for which the institution is 
indebted to his liberality and superintending care." 
Mr. Faulkner continued, when his health permitted, to 
give his valuable services as a trustee for nearly four 
years after his resignation of fhe chairmanship. He 
died February 2ist, 1862, and a special meeting of the 
trustees was held four days later, when it was unani- 
mously resolved: "That the surviving trustees of Owens 
College painfully appreciate the very great loss which 
they and the institution committed to their charge have 
sustained by the death of their late colleague, George 
Faulkner, Esq., whose untiring zeal and large liberality 
were unsparingly devoted to the promotion of the 
interests and utility of the college, whilst his amiable 
and wisely beneficent disposition endeared him to his 
colleagues, over whose deliberations he as the first 
chairman of the trustees presided for many years, alike 
to their satisfaction and. to the advantage of the college." 

It was also resolved to close the college on the day 
of the funeral. 



'Samuel Alcock was born at Manchester, December 
28th, 1789, in a house in Piccadilly, built by his father 
Thomas Alcock. It is said to have been the first house 
built in Piccadilly, and was situated at the corner of that 
open place and Lever Street, the ground at that time 
being fields. The house was partly occupied for habi- 
tation, and partly used for business purposes in the 
storage of oil, tallow, groceries, &c. Later on it was 
for many years occupied by Cash and Holland as oil- 
men and tallow-chandlers, but the old structure has 
recently been pulled down, and a lofty warehouse now 
stands in its place. 

When Samuel was old enough he was apprenticed to 
a fustian warehouse, and his elder brother John was at 
the same time serving his apprenticeship with Messrs. 
Knight, of Longsight, who were handloom manu- 

On the expiration of their terms of apprenticeship the 
brothers decided to set up together in partnership as 
handloom manufacturers, and carrying out their inten- 
tion hired a warehouse at Gatley Hall, which had 
previously been used for a similar purpose. It is now 
partly a farmhouse and place of residence. 

Business prospered, and the brothers built a larger 
warehouse at Gatley Hill, on land which came to the 
elder brother on the death of their father. 

Handloom weaving was the custom in those days, 
and " putting out" was a regular branch of business, and 
was very extensively resorted to by some manufacturers. 
The practice was for the master manufacturer to dress 
or prepare his warps with a light flour size, so as to 

1 Information of John Alcock, Esq. 


enable the yarn to weave easily; when so prepared the 
warps were given to the weavers in addition to a suffi- 
cient quantity of weft to make the cloth, then both kinds 
of yarn were tumbled into sacks and carried away by 
the weavers to their homes, where the yarn was woven 
into cloth. 

The click of the shuttle and the fall of the treddle 
could be heard in many a quiet clough or lonely cottage 
at the edge of the moor. In East Lancashire villages 
sprang up in several directions, their one long street 
lined with three-storied houses, the upper and middle 
storeys having one broad mullioned window, which 
stretched across the front of the house. In such places 
the cotton manufacture was carried on two generations 
ago, but the power-loom has almost entirely driven the 
trade into other channels into huge mills and weaving- 
sheds. The goods, when woven and bleached or dyed, 
were taken to Manchester to the manufacturer or agent, 
and sold there. 

The brothers Alcock were manufacturers of, or had 
made for them, plain coarse calico, diapers, cotton 
damask table cloths, cotton towels, and for a time 
fancy muslins, and a great variety of coloured goods 
for the African market. 

Samuel Alcock in later life was neighbour to Owens ; 
they met frequently, and their acquaintance ripened into 
friendship. They were both of them quiet, retiring 
men, and found more pleasure in attending to their own 
business than in the gaieties and dissipation of life. 
Both of them throve by their industry, and amassed 
wealth more by saving than by large profits from 

Mr. Alcock did not take a prominent part in public 
affairs, but his social position is indicated by his being 


called to serve on the grand jury of the first borough 
sessions held in Manchester, before Mr. Armstrong 
the recorder. His colleagues were Alexander Henry, 
Henry Bannerman, James Chadwick, Joseph Compton, 
Robert Duck, W. Rathbone Greg, John Munn, Thomas 
Ollivant, Edmund Potter, Sidney Potter, and others of 
equally high standing. 

He was an early advocate of free trade, and a sup- 
porter of the anti-bread-tax movement, which afterwards 
led to such great and splendid results. He took an 
interest in most of the philanthropic objects of the time, 
and was active in the financial management of the Cross 
Street Chapel. 

In course of time he retired from business, and 
resided at Stancliffe Hall, Darley Dale; afterwards at 
Barrow Hall, Kirby Lonsdale, where he died 28th 
September, 1858, and was buried in that town. Having 
gone to reside beyond the fifty-mile radius, he ceased to 
be a trustee of Owens College in 1851. 

John Owens left him ,1,000 as one of his executors. 


Mr. William Benjamin Watkins was Mayor of Man- 
chester for the year 1845-6, and therefore, being chief 
magistrate of the borough at the time of Owens's death, 
became a trustee of the college. He was a drysalter by 
trade, and the success of his business enabled him to 
live in great comfort in a large house at Legh Place, 
Stockport Road. The house has long since been pulled 
down, and the garden has been covered with shops and 
cottages. He had been educated for the medical pro- 
fession, but not liking it he became a man of business. 

Mr. Watkins's habit was to ride to town and back on 
a good stout horse, and his jovial salutation and hearty 


manner always made him welcome. He enjoyed hos- 
pitality whether he was receiver or dispenser, and on 
occasion his conversation would show that he had been 
a student of Greek and Latin authors. He was elected 
a councillor for Ardwick ward at the first election of the 
council, December I4th, 1838, and was returned at the 
head of the poll, the modest numbers for the successful 
candidates being: W. B. Watkins, 186; P. F. Willert, 
185 ; Aaron Nodal, 181. 

The early struggles of the corporation are referred 
to elsewhere, and the references to them in this notice 
will be those only in which Mr. Watkins took part. 
The Tories, or " anti-corporators," would not acknow- 
ledge the validity of the charter of incorporation, and it 
had to be settled in the law-courts after protracted and 
costly litigation. The corporation needed money for 
its police and for other charges, and it was a difficult 
process to collect rates from those who professed to 
regard the levy as illegal. To get over the difficulty a 
bond of indemnity was given to the bank of Manchester 
for advances made to the corporation. A sum of 
,27,100 was guaranteed, and it will be convenient to 
give here the names of those guarantors who afterwards 
became trustees under the will of John Owens. They 
are: Richard Cobden, ^500; Alexander Kay, ^500; 
William Neild, ,500; W. B. Watkins, "500. The 
council began its work in a very humble manner it 
had not then much to do, and its present colossal pro- 
portions have been of steady growth. Its first meetings 
were held in a room at the back of the York Hotel, 
King Street, and the Tory paper the Chronicle made 
merry at the "gentlemen who call themselves the 
' Town Council ' " holding their meetings in a stable ! 
Presently the council made terms with Sir Oswald 


Mosley for the use of the Manor Court Room in Brown 
Street. The Manchester Guardian of June 5th, 1839, 
thus describes the council chamber, in which they had 
held their first quarterly meeting: " It is a commodious 
and spacious apartment, being about thirty-two feet by 
twenty. It is very plainly furnished with a range of 
tables down the centre, wooden chairs, and benches 
next the walls." Doubtless the council looked upon 
this as a temporary occupation ; they expected to enter 
ere long the handsome building in King Street, where 
the boroughreeve and constables held their meetings. 
This came to pass, and they continued there till they 
removed to the present spacious and beautiful structure 
in Albert Square. 

Mr. Watkins was raised to the aldermanic bench 
November 9th, 1844, and was re-elected in 1850 and 
1856; he resigned this office and his seat in the council 
August 6th, 1862. He was elected mayor November 
9th, 1845, being the fifth in succession. On his retire- 
ment, at the close of the municipal year, the council 
unanimously passed a resolution of thanks to him. 

On March 29th, 1847, Mr. Watkins was associated 
with Messrs. Armitage and Bancroft in taking over, 
on behalf of the corporation, the old Manchester and 
Salford waterworks from the directors of the company, 
Mr. Alexander Kay being one of the latter gentlemen. 

Three weeks later Mr. Watkins was associated with 
his friend Alderman Kay, in supporting a petition to 
Parliament from the corporation, in favour of a Govern- 
ment scheme of education. The second clause of the 
petition would be considered trite now, but it was a 
subject of angry disputation forty years ago. It stated: 
" That your petitioners are of opinion that schools, 
which give an early direction to the intelligence and 


character of a people, are fit objects of national care, inas- 
much as the interests involved are too dependent upon 
the precarious action of spontaneous zeal, and demand 
a ^scale and constancy of expenditure, for which public 
resources and organisation ought to be made available." 

In 1848 Mr. Watkins, with Mr. Neild, was placed 
on the waterworks committee, and on the committee for 
building the borough gaol. 

He was one of the feoffees of the Free Grammar 
School, and was also a governor of the Savings Bank. 
In politics he was a Liberal, and was an active member 
of the Anti-Corn-Law League. He attended diligently 
to his duties as a trustee of Owens College so long as his 
health permitted, and when this failed he resigned, 
January, 1864. He died on Midsummer-day, the same 


The Hon. and Very Rev. William Herbert, D.C.L., 
was Dean of Manchester at the time of Owens's death. 
"He was born January i2th, 1778, and was the third 
son of Henry, first Earl of Carnarvon, by Lady E. A. 
M. Wyndham, eldest daughter of Charles, Earl of 
Egremont. He was educated at Eton, and at Exeter 
College, where he graduated B.A. in 1798; he after- 
wards removed to Merton College, Oxford, where he 
graduated M.A. 1802, B. and D.C.L. 1808, and D.D. 
1841. He was presented to the rectory of Spofforth 
in 1814, and installed Dean of Manchester July loth, 
1840, on the death of Dr. Calvert, and had the singu- 
larity of being the last warden and the first dean of 
the Collegiate Church of Manchester. The title of 
warden and fellows was, by Act of Parliament, changed 
to the dean and canons August i ith, 1840. 

1 Gentleman's Magazine, October, 1847. 


It is strange that this appointment should have met 
with such bitter opposition from those who are usually 
supposed to be great supporters of the Established 
Church. The struggle between " anti-corporators" and 
"corporators" in Manchester had not ended when Dr. 
Herbert was appointed, and an organ of the Tory 
party the Chronicle thus spoke of it : " The gross 
impropriety of assigning an important piece of Church 
preferment to the disposal of a body consisting mainly 
of Dissenters, we assert that such an arrangement is an 
open and intentional insult, not to Churchmen only of 
Manchester, but to every parishioner who refuses to 
recognise the corporation." 1 As a matter of fact the 
corporation had nothing whatever to do with the ap- 
pointment. Dr. Herbert easily lived down the opposi- 
tion which met him at first. 

Dr. Herbert was a voluminous and varied writer and 
a ripe scholar. He wrote poems in English, Greek, 
and Latin; and translated from Icelandic, German, and 
Dutch. A list of his writings is given in the Gentle- 
mans Magazine, vol. xxviii., new series, pp. 425-6. 
The same magazine contains lengthy and appreciative 
notices of his principal poems. 2 So excellent a critic as 
Sir Walter Scott 3 speaks of the superiority of Mr. 
Herbert's translations, direct from the Icelandic, of the 
old Scalds, compared with any previous efforts, and 
says: " We therefore hail with pleasure an attempt to 
draw information from the fountain-head." And of the 
"Song of Thrym" he says: "The translation is so 
admirably executed, that it might be mistaken for an 
original." 4 Scott thought the translations from the 

1 Quoted also in the Manchester Guardian, June 24th, 1840. 

2 Gentleman's Magazine for 1839, pp. 339-354; also vol. for 1843, PP- "S^SS- 

1 Prose Works, xvii., art. v., p. 103. * Ibid., pp. 105-6. 



Spanish and Italian had "a want of pliability in the 
language," which might have arisen from Mr. Herbert 
having " laboured among the rugged rhymes of the 
Scalds, until his style had become too rigid for trans- 
fusing the elegance and melody of the Southern 
poetry." Scott praised the original pieces and said of 
them: "We remark, with pleasure, that the passion 
which his verses express is that pure and virtuous 
affection which sublimes and refines all that is con- 
nected with it." 1 

Dr. Herbert's fame will not rest upon these works, 
deservedly high as was his reputation; it is to his 
scientific knowledge and research that his name will 

2 Darwin, in his " Historical Sketch of the progress 
of Opinion on the Origin of Species, previously to the 
publication of the first edition of this work," says : " The 
Hon. and Rev. W. Herbert, afterwards Dean of Man- 
chester, in the fourth volume of the Horticultural 
Transactions, 1822, and in his work on the Amaryl- 
lidacea (1837, pp. 19, 339), declares that 'horticultural 
experiments have established beyond the possibility of 
refutation, that botanical species are only a higher and 
more permanent class of varieties.' He extends the 
same view to animals. The dean believes that single 
species of each genus were created in an originally 
highly plastic condition, and that these have produced, 
chiefly by intercrossing, but likewise by variation, all 
our existing species." The subject is now one of ab- 
sorbing interest, and it may be worth while to give more 
fully the views held by Dr. Herbert half a century ago. 
He says: 

1 Prose Works, xvii., pp. 116-7. 
1 Origin of Species > sixth edition, pp. xv, xix. 


'"In forming generic characters we are but seeking signs whereby 
to come at the knowledge of a fact, namely, the individuality of a 
thing described. For the purpose of assisting our view of nature we 
arrange them in groups, to which, however, no distinct limits were 
assigned by the Creator ; and though we are trying to find out the 
ways of nature, our classifications, by whatever name we may call 
them, are artificial, and if we proceed beyond one step at a time, we 
must be liable to find ourselves baffled by the reality. When I began, 
many years ago, to write concerning vegetables, I had to combat an 
idea that the Almighty had created each species of our botanical 
catalogues as it now exists, and that plants being able to breed 
together was the test of their identity as species. It has since been 
ascertained beyond dispute, as I then anticipated, that in some genera 
all the species are capable of easy intermixture, . . . and the 
facility of intermixture seems to depend less on the botanical than the 
constitutional affinity of kindred species; so that either the whole 
existing machinery of species must be upheld, or they must fall 


2 "It was perhaps part of the wise scheme of Providence, for the 
purpose of peopling the world with the immense diversity of forms 
that occupy it, to give each created race a disposition to branch into 
diversities, acquiring constitutional peculiarities which should keep 
them more or less separated ; and the same phenomenon is observable 
in the languages of man, which are infinitely numerous, yet there is 
no reason to believe that many languages were given to man on the 
confusion of tongues ; . . . but from these have branched out 
innumerable languages which cannot be reunited, and no person can 
show when or how any one of them arose, though we may trace the 
mingling of one with another in the later years of the world. One 
thing seems pretty certain, amongst the mysteries in which this 
subject is enveloped, that the differences worked, whether in plants 
or animals in a state of domesticity, do not effect so great a constitu- 
tional separation, inducing an indisposition to reunite and produce a 
prolific offspring, as the changes which have been wrought by nature 
in the wilderness." 

1 Amaryllidacea ; preceded by an Attempt to Arrange the Monocotyledonous 
Orders, and followed by a Treatise on Cross-bred Vegetables. 1837, p. 18. 

* Ibid., p. 339. 


Dr. Herbert's first essay upon the genus Amaryllis 
was published in October, 1821, in pamphlet form. It 
contains two large plates crowded with detail drawings 
in lithograph, drawn by the author. His greater work 
on the Amaryllidacece was published in 1837, and 
contains forty-eight plates. It is a work of great labour 
and research ; every plant is shown on carefully- 
engraved plates drawn by the author, and giving minute 
details of the flower and of its organs. 

As regards Dean Herbert's practical knowledge of 
botany, a friend 1 writes : 

" Whilst at his quiet rectory of Spofforth, in Yorkshire, Mr. Herbert 
pursued a series of experimental investigations into the nature of 
hybridization in plants, which were the commencement of our true 
knowledge of horticulture; and it may almost be said that to him we 
owe many of our most beautiful garden flowers and our improved 
vegetables. He first realised the fact that it was from the careful 
selection of the best seeds from the best and most perfect plants that 
the improvement of our plants was to come; and writing on this 
subject in 1842 he says that the skilful application of these apparently 
simple but natural means would seem to be the medium by which it 
was intended that the life, energy, beauty, and variety of the vegetable 
kingdom should be made subject to the control of man. In the 
Botanical Register for 1843 are figured several curious hybrid narcissi, 
which he had raised by intercrossing the wild forms of narcissi he 
found about Spofforth with the garden varieties, and he wrote with 
reference to these : ' It is desirable to call the attention of the 
humblest cultivators of every labourer, indeed, who has a spot of 
garden or ledge on his windows to the infinite variety of narcissi 
that may thus be raised, offering him a source of harmless and 
interesting amusement and perhaps a little profit and celebrity.' " 

Referring to the book on the Amaryllidaceae, Mr. 
Brockbank says: " This great work was at least a 
quarter of a century before its time. In fact we are 
only just now realising its full scope. Herbert was far 

1 William Brockbank, Esq., ofDidsbury. 


ahead of his age, and this work on the Amaryllidaceae 
is still a standard on the subject." " The plates, of 
which there are forty-eight, are of exquisite beauty, and 
display an accurate botanical knowledge, worked out to 
the minutest details with amazing patience. The chap- 
ters on Hybridization are most valuable, and opened the 
way to gardeners the world over." 

When the British Association for the Advancement 
of Science held its meeting at Manchester, in 1842, 
Dr. Herbert was the president of section D, being that 
of zoology and botany. He died in London, in his 
seventieth year, May 28th, 1847; too early to take any 
part as a trustee of the college. He left a son, William 
Henry, a well-known writer of delightful angling and 
natural history works, who used the nom-de-plume of 
" Frank Forester." This son went to America in 1831 
and his books were published there. 

'Dean Herbert's works, comprising translations and 
original poems published from 1795 to 1839 were 
issued in three volumes octavo in 1842. Dean Herbert 
also published Sermons in 1820, a Letter on the Game 
Laws in 1823; he was a contributor to the Edinburgh 
Review. Mr. Brockbank kindly furnishes the following 
list of botanical works by Mr. Herbert, in addition to 
those above named, and several papers in the Botanical 
Register on the Crocus : 

1. Instructions for the treatment of the Amaryllis longifolia, with 
some observations on the production of hybrid plants. [ 1 8 1 8. ] Hortic. 
Soc. Trans., iii., 1820, pp. 187-196. 

2. On the production of hybrid vegetables, with the result of many 
experiments made in the investigation of the subject. [1819.] Hortic. 
Soc. Trans., iv., 1822, pp. 15-50. 

1 Since the above was written Canon Raines's biography of Dean Herbert has 
been published by the Chetham Society ; it contains a list of the dean's printed 
works. Cf. The Rectors and Wardens of Manchester, pt. ii., pp. 183-192. C.S. 
new series, vol. vi. 


3. Amaryllidearum species nova (Pancratium tortuosum, P. trian- 
thum). Ann. Nat. Hist., iv., 1840, p. 28. 

4. Local habitation and wants of plants. [1845.] Hortic. Soc. 
Journ., i., 1846, pp. 44-49. 

5. A note upon Saxifraga mutata. [1846.] Hortic. Soc. Journ., 
ii., 1847, pp. 155-160. 

6. A History of the species of Crocus. Hortic. Soc. Journ., ii., 
1847, PP- 249-292. 

7. On hybridization amongst vegetables. [1846.] Hortic. Soc. 
Journ., ii., 1847, pp. 1-27, 81-106. 


Mr. Mark Philips was born on the 4th November, 
1800, at The Park, Manchester. Robert Philips, his 
father, was a prosperous merchant, a member of the 
Church Street firm which has carried on a lucrative and 
honourable business time out of mind. The firm of J. 
and N. Philips suggests to a Manchester man a parallel 
with some of the great Italian trading houses of the 
Middle Ages a Medici or a Pitti, without their vices 
for the magnitude of their business, the thoroughness 
with which it was carried on, their wealth, and the 
influence among their fellows which they obtained. But 
the parallelism must stop there. Men wondered when 
they saw a Cosmo de Medici making friends with the 
people, and asked what it meant. What end was to be 
served ? No one wondered when a Philips a George, 
Robert, Mark, or Needham supported popular rights, 
because everyone looked upon it as natural to the men, 
as the simple outcome of their manifest sincerity. 

Lancashire folks have a habit of showing their 
reverence for a man they esteem and love by dropping 
all courtesy prefixes, and calling their heroes by their 
registered names. The subject of this sketch was 


known as Mark Philips, just as his colleagues were 
known as John Bright and Richard Cobden ; it was from 
no irreverence, but from the same feeling which would 
make it ridiculous to speak of " Mr." Milton or " Mr." 
Shakespere. Owens's estimate of Mark Philips may 
be judged by his appointing him specifically by name 
as a trustee in his will, as well as in his capacity of 
member of Parliament for Manchester. 

Mr. Philips was born in troublous times, during the 
great war, when the horrors of the French Revolution 
had chilled the Liberalism of many aristocratic Whigs, 
and when the Tories were rabidly in favour of Church 
and King. The Philipses were Unitarians and rich, and 
scarcely realised the penalties which Nonconformists 
and "Jacobins" had to face. Whilst the latter were 
shut out from the respectable public-houses of the 
town the clubs of the merchants and manufacturers 
the former were reminded by resolutions passed at 
meetings: 1 "That the religion of the State is the 
religion of the magistrate, without which no society can 
be wisely confident of the integrity and good faith of 
the persons appointed to places of trust and power," 
and that it was highly improper for Protestant Dissen- 
ters to apply to Parliament for the " repeal of those 
salutary laws, the Corporation and Test Acts, the great 
bulwarks and barriers, for a century and upwards, of 
our glorious constitution in Church and State." Sydney 
Smith was always glad to spend a few weeks at the 
house of Sir George, and write about the glories of 
" Philippi," with its fine arts, its courtesies, and its 
abounding hospitality. 2 But these were the exceptions ; 
the rule was persecution to the Dissenter, and pinching 

1 Prentice's Manchester, 1792-1832, pp: 2, 7. 
* See Life and Times of Sydney Smith, by Stuart J. Reid, pp. 194, 224. 


want to the poor. Trade was capricious and fluctuating ; 
the war increased taxation, and it drained as soldiers or 
as volunteers many of the young men who should have 
been the support of their families. Food was both 
scarce and dear, and people longed for peace. Their 
hopes, however, were vain: peace came in 1815, but 
with it came the corn tax. Land was burdened with 
taxation, and the landlords determined to push the load 
on to other shoulders. The corn tax forbade the import 
of wheat, unless the home produce fetched eighty 
shillings a quarter in the market. Farmers rejoiced in 
their prosperity, and willingly paid the landlord his 
largely-increased rents; but the people starved, trade 
was crippled, and disasters like those of 1825 threatened 
to ruin the nation. Young Mark sympathised with the 
people in their distress and pointed out the remedy: it 
was by making the House of Commons the representa- 
tive of the people, and not of the landlords who made 
oppressive laws. 

He attended a meeting at the Manor Court Room, 
Manchester, on the igth August, 1826, and seconded 
a resolution which strongly pictured the evils and 
denounced the mischievous operation of the monopoly 
in corn, secured to the landlords at the expense of the 
nation. He made a short but vigorous speech, and 
was very well received, and after apologising for 
addressing the assembly it was his maiden speech- 
said that at a time when tens of thousands were suffer- 
ing the deepest distress, it was an imperative duty to 
stand forward and declare the wretchedness which had 
been occasioned by bad legislation. The mantle he 
then took up he did not let drop till the corn law was 

On the 2Oth January, 1831, a crowded meeting was 


held in the Manchester Town Hall, to consider the 
propriety of petitioning in favour of a reform of the 
representation of the people. Philips addressed the 
meeting and urged the adoption of the ballot. He took 
part in the agitation of the time, and when the Lords 
threw out the Reform Bill an excited and angry feeling 
prevailed. When the second bill came before the 
Lords and was mutilated so as to be practically useless 
ministers resigned, and the Duke of Wellington was 
sent for to form a Cabinet. The people rose as one 
man against it, and the excitement became dangerous. 
When the news reached Manchester a meeting was 
hastily summoned and a petition to the House of 
Commons was adopted amidst the greatest enthusiasm. 
It showed that the petitioners "had heard, with feelings 
that it was impossible to describe," that the Reform 
Bill had again been virtually lost by the House of 
Lords, and that Earl Grey and his administration had 
been compelled to withdraw from His Majesty's 
councils, and it concluded by praying the House to 
"refuse to vote any supplies until a measure essential 
to 'the happiness of the people and the safety of the 
throne shall be carried into a law." 

It is difficult to describe the enthusiasm of that time. 
The writing of the petition was not concluded till one 
o'clock on Thursday, loth May ; in an hour printed 
placards were got out, and distributed at three, but at 
six o'clock, when these were collected, twenty-four 
thousand signatures had been obtained. The deputation, 
carrying the petition with them, set off in a chaise and 
four to London the same night, and in seventeen hours 
reached Palace Yard, having been enthusiastically 
cheered all the way. The petition was immediately 
presented to the House on its arrival, and was the first 


which prayed for a stoppage of supplies until reform 
and a redress of grievances were obtained. 

On the following Monday a meeting was held in St. 
Peter's Field, Manchester, when it is computed there 
were forty thousand persons of all ranks and conditions 
present. The venerable Robert Philips, true to the 
principles he held in 1792, moved the first resolution, 
and his son-in-law, Robert Hyde Greg, seconded it. 
Whilst the father was speaking in favour of reform at 
Manchester, the son was supporting the movement in 
Salford, and in due time both rejoiced in its success. 
The Reform Bill enfranchised Manchester for the second 
time, 1 and Mark Philips, at the early age of thirty-two, 
was returned at the head of the poll. The numbers 
were: Mark Philips (L.), 2,923 votes; Hon. C. Poulett 
Thomson (L.), 2,068 ; Samuel Jones Loyd (W.), 1832 ; 
John Thomas Hope (C.), 1,560; William Cobbett, 

Mr. Philips continued to represent his native town 
until 1847, when, to the great regret of his supporters, 
he retired on account of failing health. He was an 
untiring advocate of the repeal of the corn laws and 
of the establishment of free trade ; and any movement 
that was for the social, moral, or material improvement 
of the people was sure of his support. He was a 
hearty man, and was always most pleased when those 
about him were happy. The English Universities were 
practically closed to Mr. Philips, but on the completion 
of his school education he was entered at Manchester 
College, York, where he pursued his studies in 1816-18 
under the oversight of the Rev. Charles Wellbeloved, 
having the learned Rev. John Kenrick, M.A., as his 

' General Charles Worsley, of Platt, was the first member, having been 
returned to Cromwell's Parliament July 1 9th, 1654. 


classical tutor. He afterwards had a two years' course 
in the University of Glasgow. He was thus in many 
ways well qualified to be one of the first trustees for 
educational purposes at Owens College. 


The other parliamentary representative was Mr. 
Milner Gibson. He was first returned for the borough 
on June 3<Dth, 1841, when the numbers were: Mark 
Philips, 3,695 ; T. M. Gibson, 3,575 ; Sir George 
Murray, 3,115 ; William Entwistle, 2,692. 

Thomas Gibson, the only son of Major Gibson, was 
born at Trinidad in 1807. He was educated at the 
Charterhouse, and thence proceeded to Cambridge, 
where he entered Trinity College, and in 1830 took his 
B.A., and was thirty-sixth wrangler. The older uni- 
versities were not so strongly tinctured with Liberalism 
half a century ago as they are now, and young Gibson 
was a Tory both by education and family connection. 
He entered the House of Commons in 1837 as member 
for Ipswich, and was a warm supporter of Sir R. Peel. 
Although his training was all in one direction, he did 
not accept doctrines simply because they were placed 
before him, and when he was brought face to face with 
the agricultural distress of the eastern counties he 
sought to know the cause. This enquiry led to a com- 
plete change of view both as to the Corn Law and the 
protective system. He had been returned a Tory and 
protectionist; he, therefore, honourably gave his con- 
stituents an opportunity of showing whether or no they 
had changed theirs by accepting the Chiltern Hundreds. 
The reply of his old constituents when he appealed to 
them was unfavourable, and he was rejected. In 


September of the same year 1839 he sought the 
suffrages of the electors of Cambridge, but the result 
in this case was also unfavourable. 

It was at this time he received the royal licence to 
prefix his surname with that of Milner. He became 
an earnest free-trader, and early in 1840 identified 
himself with the anti - corn - law movement. The 
Manchester people were then greatly in earnest on the 
subject, and as public meetings were of the utmost 
value to the cause it was determined to build a large 
temporary hall in Manchester. This was done in 
eleven days by keeping one hundred men at work, and 
the first Free Trade Hall was opened with a banquet. 
There were several eminent men and great speakers 
present. Among the latter r "A Suffolk landowner, 
Thomas Milner Gibson, appeared for the first time 
before a Manchester audience, and by his youthful and 
gentlemanly appearance, and by the mingled good 
humour and pungency with which he demolished the 
arguments and statements of men of his own class, 
from whom he had come to make common cause with 
the people, made a most favourable impression." 

Milner Gibson was returned for Manchester in the 
following year, June 3Oth, 1841, when Robert Hyde 
Greg retired from parliamentary life ; he was returned, 
with John Bright, unopposed in 1847; he headed the 
poll in 1852 (5,762), when he and Mr. John Bright. 
(5,475) were opposed by Mr. George Loch (4,363) and 
Captain Denman (3,955); but in 1857, when the country 
was still intoxicated with Crimean victories and Chinese 
enthusiasm, he was thrown out by Sir John Potter 
(8,368) and Mr. J. A. Turner (7,854), while he only 

1 Prentice's History of the League, i. 148. 


obtained 5,588 votes, and Mr. Bright 5,488. He had 
opposed the Crimean war, and he also protested and 
voted against going to war with China on the question 
of the lorcha Arrow. 

Milner Gibson was returned for Ashton-under-Lyne 
in the year of his defeat, and, curiously enough, he who 
had been the rejected of Manchester through Lord 
Palmerston's policy, was the means of hurling his lord- 
ship down -from the highest position of the State. 

Milner Gibson, in addition to his earnest advocacy 
of free -trade principles, did very good service in 
abolishing what were called " the taxes on know- 
ledge." Stamp and advertisement duties on news- 
papers, coupled with the duty on paper, made a cheap 
press an impossibility : it is mainly due to Milner 
Gibson that there are now so many cheap and excellent 
daily newspapers. Gibson was Vice- President of the 
Board of Trade in Lord John Russell's ministry in 
1846, and attained the higher position of President of 
the same department, with a seat in the Cabinet, in 
Lord Palmerston's second Administration in 1859. 

As a speaker Gibson was effective, though his 
speeches seemed better in print than in delivery; but 
his elegant manner and graceful language always told 
well with his audience. He was disqualified from 
acting as a trustee of Owens College owing to his 
residence being beyond the fifty-mile limit. He died 
February, 1884. 


Mr. William Neild was born at Millington, near 
Rostherne, in 1789. It was probably the influence 
of the lovely scenery of his native place, wood, and 
mere, and rich pasture land, that made him in after 


life so devoted an amateur farmer. It was not every 
farm that was well kept, nor every field that was 
well tilled ; and when fortune had favoured him, when 
by hard work and precise habits he had accumulated 
wealth, he determined to bring some of it to bear, with 
his business knowledge, to the cultivation of land and 
the improvement of farming. His friend Cobden had 
said that the Cheshire farmers could grow finer rushes 
than were to be found in any county in England. Mr. 
Neild felt that the land was capable of producing some- 
thing better than rushes, and the trim fields of Bowdon 
Vale, the rich crops, and the choice stock, amply proved 
what could be done where money and science were 
brought to bear in a common cause. 

But many years had to elapse before this happened. 
Young Neild went to Manchester in 1804, when he was 
fifteen years old, and for some time was traveller for a 
respectable firm. In the directories of 1817 and 
1819-20 he is described as a fustian manufacturer, 
living at 5, Downing Street, Ardwick. He married, 
May 2nd, 1816, a daughter of Mr. Thomas Hoyle, the 
calico printer, and became a partner in the well-known 
firm of Thomas Hoyle and Sons. In 1824-5 he is 
described as a calico printer living at Mayfield Row. 
In those days Mayfield was well in the country, and 
the house belonging to the works frequently gave 
hospitable shelter to distinguished visitors. It was here 
that John Dalton for many a long year eat his Sunday's 
dinner. The fame of the concern grew, the works 
increased, and " Hoyle's prints " took a first place 
among the well-known textiles all the world over. Mr. 
Neild gave earnest and diligent attention to the business 
of the concern. 

But while active in his own business he was early 


alive to the claims of citizenship. Manchester was 
increasing "with leaps and bounds." Its commerce 
was extending; new streets were being laid out, new 
houses were being run up; educational, artistic, and 
scientific institutions were founded; and progress was 
manifest everywhere, except in one direction the 
government of the town remained, with a weakened 
authority, of the same feudal type that it had held for 
centuries. Such men as William Neild, Richard Cobden, 
Alexander Kay, Thomas Potter, and others chafed under 
it, and determined to upset it for something better. 

'There was no elective authority in the town. The 
boroughreeve, in accordance with ancient custom, exer- 
cised the functions of mayor; and the two constables, 
who were at the head of the day police, were elected at 
the lord of the manor's court leet, by a jury elected by 
the lord of the manor's steward. 2 

The police commissioners of whom there were some 
eighteen hundred whose duties were to superintend 
the night-watch, and the paving, sewering, and lighting 
of the town, consisted of such persons as, being assessed 
upon a ^30 rental, chose to come forward and take the 
oath of office. The inhabitants had no control over the 
boroughreeve and constables, and it is said they used 
their office too frequently to put down reform principles 
and to apprehend Radicals. 3 The commissioners estab- 
lished the gasworks, and this was a very wise act; but 
they were charged with levying a very high rate it 
was then fourteen shillings per thousand feet for the 
benefit of town improvements. The large consumers 

1 See chapter xx. Prentice's Historical Sketches of Manchester. 
* For the duties of the court leet, see Earwaker's Introduction to the Manchester 
Court Leet Records ; i., pp. ix-xx. 

'Prentice's Historical Sketches of Manchester, p. 311. 


of gas either put up their own works and thus escaped 
toll, or they submitted to the payment of an undue 
portion of the charges upon the town. Public feeling 
became very sore, and there was speedily a division of 
parties, the gas question becoming one of party politics 
and much turbulence. Thus a measure, which was 
exceedingly good of itself when moderately used, and 
which is still the source of all the city improvements, 
became a cause of strife and bitterness. Some of the 
commissioners attempted to get a bill through Parlia- 
ment, whereby the rating qualification of a commissioner 
would be raised, but this was strongly opposed and 
was lost. 

But this arrangement did not satisfy the reformers, 
and a few years later an agitation was set on foot to 
obtain a charter of incorporation. This led to fierce 
contests in the town. The struggle was long and 
severe, and very bitter, as the newspapers of the day 
testify, but the reformers triumphed in the end, and a 
charter was granted October 2nd, 1838. No one worked 
harder to bring this about than William Neild, and it 
was fitting that he should be returned as councillor for 
his ward, and immediately be made alderman, an 
honourable title which he bore till the day of his 

It was a question who should be made the first mayor. 
There were but two names mentioned Mr. Thomas 
Potter and Mr. Neild. The former, doubtless because 
of his greater age, obtained the choice ; and when his 
year of office was ended Mr. Neild very gracefully 
moved his re-appointment, saying, "He," the mayor, 
" had commenced his career of duty under every species 
of obloquy that could be cast upon him ; but nothing 
could retard the progress of his exertions, by every 


means in his power, to forward the common cause a 
cause to which, through all his life, in all public concerns, 
he had uniformly devoted himself." 

Twelve months later Mr. Neild was called to occupy 
the position of chief citizen. Mr. John Edward Taylor, 
in moving the resolution, said : "I shall be borne out 
by every gentleman who hears me, that in all the 
relations of life, whether as a man, as a husband, a 
father, a tradesman, or as offering his best services 
from time to time, as for many years past he has been 
in the habit of doing, for the benefit of that society of 
which he is a member he has discharged the duties 
that have devolved upon him with uniform fidelity, 
discretion, and judgment." The resolution was unani- 
mously carried amidst loud applause. Mr. Neild was 
re-elected when his first year of office was ended. He 
ruled during a stormy period, and it was part of the 
irony of events that he, who was a member of the most 
peace loving of religious sects, had been called upon as 
citizen to act as constable and boroughreeve ; as alder- 
man to fight the anti-corporators step by step ; as mayor 
to quell mobs of unemployed workmen, and to preside 
at anti-corn-law meetings, which were broken up by 
Chartist agitators. He declined to act as boroughreeve, 
preferring, if necessary, to pay the fine for refusal. The 
opponents of the corporation were very bitter in their 
language, and very defiant in their action. They denied 
the validity of the charter of incorporation, and set the 
"corporators" at nought. Thus at the by-election of 
1839 the state of the poll was declared by the borough- 
reeve on September 5th, and by the mayor on the 
following day ; there were two coroners, two recorders, 
a town clerk, and a clerk to the commissioners ; a clerk 
to the justices of the borough, and a clerk to the magis- 


trates of the county acting in the borough. A tedious 
and expensive law suit about the charter was carried on, 
and it was not until June, 1843 three and a half years 
after the first sitting of the council that the corporation 
entered fully upon the privileges granted by its charter. 

Mr. Neild took a prominent part in all the principal 
events that appeared in the council. It was during his 
mayoralty that the British Association held its first 
meeting at Manchester. He was a member of the 
general committee appointed to establish a college at 
Manchester in 1836. He was an active trustee of the 
Owens College, and when Mr. Faulkner retired from 
the chairmanship it was conferred upon Mr. Neild. 
He was zealous in obtaining money for the Dal ton 
memorial, a large portion of which was given to the 
college to found a scholarship. In accepting it a 
resolution was passed " That the thanks of his co- 
trustees are especially due to William Neild, Esq., for 
his unwearied and successful exertions in originating 
and promoting the foundation of the Dalton scholarship 
and prize in connection with Owens College." 

Mr. Neild held the chairmanship during nearly six 
years, until death painfully broke the connection with 
the institution for which he had laboured during thirteen 
years. It was resolved: r- 

" That it is with feelings of the deepest regret that the trustees 
have to record the irreparable loss which they and Owens College 
have sustained in the death of their late colleague and chairman, 
William Neild, Esq., the last of the acting trustees appointed by the 
founder. The services of Mr. Neild in organising the college in the 
first instance, and in watching over and promoting its interests during 
the thirteen years which have elapsed since its opening, cannot be 
too highly estimated. As chairman of trustees he has for more than 
five years presided over their meetings with attention, efficiency, and 
courtesy, alike beneficial to the college, and gratifying to his associates 
and all connected with the institution. 


"To his judgment in suggesting, and his energy in forwarding 
measures for securing and extending the capabilities and utility of the 
college, all who have been partakers of its advantages have been 
greatly indebted. The Dalton scholarships the most important of 
the prizes held out to the students owe their establishment almost 
wholly to him, whilst to every other endowment connected with the 
college he gave liberal and energetic assistance. In connection with 
Owens College, as with almost every other beneficial institution con- 
nected with the city of Manchester (of the governing body of which 
he was so distinguished a member), he will be held in grateful 
remembrance for the efficient and conscientious discharge of duties 
well and faithfully performed during a long life, and only terminated 
at the moment of death." 

It was resolved that such of the trustees as could make 
it convenient should attend the funeral. 

Mr. Neild took a great interest in the management 
of the Savings Bank both at Manchester and Altrinc- 
ham, and in the Lancasterian School, of which he was 
the chairman. He was very precise in all that he did, 
and believing that he had no right to rob another man 
of his time he always made a point of being most 
punctual rarely before and never after the time of a 
meeting. The last words he uttered were a singular 
commentary upon this habit. A sub-committee had been 
summoned to take into consideration the desirability of 
building a new town hall. Some of the earlier arrivals 
were talking round the fire, when Mr. Neild joined 
them. The hour of the meeting drew nigh, when Mr. 
Neild, watch in hand, said: " Gentlemen, the time is 
up," and took a step forward to the chair. He fell, and 
immediately expired. The council passed the following 
resolution : 


"At a meeting of the council of this city, holden on Wednesday, 
the yth day of April, 1864. 
'"That this council sincerely mourns the grievous loss which they 


have sustained in the sudden and much-to-be-lamented death of 
Alderman William Neild, to whom, in an especial manner, this 
council is indebted for the original grant and subsequent establish- 
ment of the royal charter of incorporation, and for the great benefits 
which, as now universally admitted, have been thereby secured to the 
inhabitants of this city. 

'"That this council refers with gratitude to the constant and 
unwearied attention exhibited, and the time devoted, by the late 
Alderman Neild to the efficient and truly conscientious discharge of 
the manifold and important duties which have at all times devolved 
upon him as one of the most responsible and distinguished members 
of the council, from the day of its establishment in 1838, up to the 
very moment of his sudden and lamented death. 

" 'That whilst thus feebly acknowledging their sense of the eminent 
public services rendered by Alderman Neild, this council feel that 
justice to the general worth and excellence of his character, in all the 
relations of private and public life, requires that they should on this 
solemn occasion bear their tribute of high admiration and regard for 
the untiring energy and great benevolence with which he associated 
himself with every proposal of a benevolent or philanthropic character, 
and with which he constantly sought in every possible way to mitigate 
the sufferings and advance the social interests of his fellow-creatures. 

" 'That, with the expression of these sentiments, the council desire 
to offer to the members of the family of the late Alderman Neild the 
assurance of their sincere condolence and heartfelt sympathy in the 
sorrow and affliction of their bereavement, and determine to evince 
their respect for his memory by accompanying his remains to the grave. 

" 'That the mayor be respectfully requested to communicate these 
resolutions to Mr. Alfred Neild and to the surviving members of the 
family.' "(Signed) J. M. BENNETT, Mayor." 


Mr. Hey wood is happily still alive, and the only 
survivor of those who were appointed trustees under 
the testator's will. 

It would be obviously improper to speak of Mr. 
Hey wood at length under the circumstances ; suffice it 
to say that in an honoured old age he can look back 
with great satisfaction to the useful life he has led. 


When Mr. Hey wood's biography comes to be written 
it will show how much Manchester owes to him for 
educational effort and social improvement. He began 
as a very young man with the advantage of wealth, 
education, and an honoured ancestry, and in old age he 
has a heart as warm and fresh as ever for the cause of 
enlightenment and progress. Mr. Hey wood ceased to 
be a trustee in 1860, on his removal to London. 


Mr. Alexander Kay was born in St. John Street, 
Manchester, March i8th, 1791 ; he was the second son 
of Alexander Kay, a cotton merchant of the same town. 
'He married December 8th, 1831, Mary Jane, daughter 
of Thomas Bromiley William Sanderson, Esq., a magis- 
trate for the county of Lancaster, who lived at Atherton. 
He was trained to the law, and commenced practice as 
a solicitor in 1813; his name is associated with Mr. 
Robert Ellis Cunliffe in the law lists of 1817-18, and he 
subsequently carried on business on his own account in 
Brown Street. In the year 1828 he was joined in 
partnership with his cousin, the late John Barlow, who 
had been articled to him; and also by the late John 
Partington Aston, and continued in partnership with 
them till 1842, when he retired from business, and went 
to live at Bowdon for the benefit of his health. 

A gentleman, who knew him well, says: " Mr. Kay 
in his profession was not only a good lawyer, but was 
well versed in the municipal and commercial business 
of Manchester, and his methodical style of transacting 
business led to his being largely consulted in arranging 
complicated family affairs, not merely in a legal manner, 

1 Information of Wm. Wycliffe Barlow, Esq., M.A., Ashford, Wilmslow. 


but essentially as the man of business. He was a very 
matter-of-fact man, and went straight to the root of 
everything he undertook, allowing no sentimentalism to 
interfere with the simple result of his investigations, and 
the stern duties arising out of them. He was a genial 
man, prepossessing in his appearance, scrupulously neat 
in his attire; courteous to the humblest servant in his 
employ, yet always commanding the respect of every- 
one in his establishment. His religious belief was 
Unitarian, and he was a staunch Liberal in politics; but 
while holding firmly to his own views, he was invariably 
ready to respect the right of private judgment in every 
man, and thus gained the esteem of the superior social 
circle in which he moved, however widely the opinions 
of many of its members differed from his own." 

When, by the advice of his minister, Prince Polignac, 
Charles X. issued his " Ordinances" for the suppression 
of the press and the restriction of the liberties of the 
French people, the Parisians rose in insurrection; the 
"three glorious days of July" saw the king dethroned 
and Louis Philippe d'Orleans proclaimed King of the 
French in his room. 

The English people, earnest about their own Reform 
Bill, deeply sympathised with the French in this revolu- 
tion, and large sums of money were generously raised 
for the benefit of the widows and children of those who 
had been shot in the streets of Paris. A meeting was 
held in the Manor Court Room, Manchester, on the 
23rd August, subscriptions were raised, and Messrs. J. 
C. Dyer who had been mainly instrumental in getting 
up similar meetings in other parts of the country- 
Mark Philips, and Alexander Kay were deputed to 
carry the subscriptions to Paris, and to congratulate 
Louis Philippe on his elevation to the throne. It is 


stated 1 that these meetings evoked an outburst of public 
opinion in favour of the immediate recognition of Louis 
Philippe by the British Government, which influenced 
the Cabinet to reject the overtures of Russia and Prussia 
for a joint war with France, with the purpose of restoring 
Charles to the throne. 2 M. Odilon Barrot, the Prefect 
of the Seine, and General Lafayette received the depu- 
tation October 26th, 1830, when the three deputies 
made speeches. Mr. Kay presented a copy of the 
resolutions passed at the Manchester meeting, and Mr. 
Philips addressed the prefect, assuring him of the 
cordial feeling of Manchester for the French people. 
Two days later the Prefect of the Seine "gave a 
splendid dinner at the H6tel-de-Ville, to which the 
members of the deputation from Manchester were 
invited. The entertainment was distinguished by a 
union of elegance, good taste, and hospitality ; and as 
the beautiful lady of M. Odilon Barrot graced the table 
with her presence, the banquet was rendered additionally 
brilliant." Under these very favourable conditions the 
deputies waxed eloquent, and civilities were inter- 
changed Mr. Kay closing his speech with the toast : 
" Prosperity to the city of Paris, and may the liberty 
she has conquered be perpetual." The sum of money 
contributed by Manchester was slightly over ^370. 

Mr. Kay was a warm admirer of the Municipal Act 
which granted local self-government to the large towns, 
and in the case of Manchester transferred the control 
from the lord of the manor or his nominees borough- 

1 Testimony of Mr. F. N. Dyer, as given by Dr. Angus Smith in his Centenary 
of Science in Manchester, p. 316. 

2 See Report of the Presentation of an Address from the Inhabitants of 
Manchester to the French Nation and to General Lafayette, October 26th, 1830. 
Manchester: W. H. Jones, 22, Market Street. 1830. 28pp. 


reeve and constables to apopularly-elected corporation. 
When the prominent reformers sought to obtain the 
incorporation of the borough Mr. Kay was their 
honorary legal adviser, and Mr. Neild was the chairman 
of the committee. Passing on for a few years it is 
found 1 that on the i3th March, 1845, the mayor 
(Alderman Kay) and Alderman Neild reported that 
they had secured the manorial rights of the borough 
and certain properties from Sir Oswald Mosley for the 
sum of ,200,000. The town might have bought these 
rights in 1808 for half the sum, but the yearly income 
was then only ,2,800, whereas it had increased to 
,9,200 at the date of purchase. 

No time was lost after the passing of the Municipal 
Act in putting its provisions into force, and on 2 i7th 
December, 1838, a committee, of which Messrs. Kay 
and Neild were members, was formed to do this. The 
same gentlemen, with the mayor and Mr. Cobden, 3 were 
also appointed on a committee to take into consideration 
all matters relating to the administration of justice 
within the borough, especially to the appointment of 
borough magistrates, and the propriety of immediately 
petitioning the Crown for the same. This led to the 
appointment of thirty justices of the peace, nearly all 
of them the choice of the council. 

Messrs. Kay and Neild, with the mayor, were also 
appointed a committee to prepare a case touching the 
validity of the charter of incorporation which had 
been challenged by the "anti-corporators" and to 
confer with the Secretary of State thereon. The 
opposition of the old and new parties to each other 
was fruitful in quarrels, and Mr. Kay was foremost in 

1 Council Proceedings, 1844-5. 
* Council Proceedings, i., p. 12. 3 Ibid., p. 20. 


the fray on behalf of the corporation. The county 
magistrates had made an order that all costs of prose- 
cutions allowed at quarter sessions for any offence 
committed, or supposed to have been committed, in a 
borough, be made out upon the treasurer of the said 
borough instead of upon the treasurer for the county. 
The council was up in arms at this infringement of their 
rights, and Messrs. Kay and Neild, with the mayor, 
&c., were deputed to wait upon Lord Normanby with 
respect to it. Popular feeling was so much stirred 
upon this subject that numerous ward meetings were 
held, at which the action of the county magistrates was 
denounced, and any compromise on the validity of the 
charter of incorporation condemned. 

Mr. Kay was an ardent free trader, and seeing the 
distress of the working classes a condition of poverty 
and suffering which this generation has no idea of 
used his powers in the council to petition Parliament in 
favour of a measure for opening the ports, when the 
potato and wheat crops failed. He also advocated the 
erection of public slaughter-houses in the town and 
the establishment of a meat market. He was no less 
anxious to see his native town well supplied with good 
water. He was a director of the old Manchester and 
Salford Water Company, and when the corporation 
determined to establish works of their own Mr. Kay, 
acting on behalf of his co-directors, handed over to the 
town the works of the old company, March 29th, 1847. 

In 1847 Lord John Russell brought in a bill to 
elevate Manchester into a bishopric. 'It contained 
many objectionable features, and was considered to 
have insufficient clauses for safeguarding the liberty 

1 For details of this measure see Council Proceedings, 1846-7. 


of the people. Mr. Kay and the mayor waited upon 
Lord John Russell with the petition sent up by the 
Manchester Corporation, and pointed out that the bill 
completely established the evils the council sought to 
avoid, and that the worst part of the system, which the 
Ecclesiastical Commissioners had themselves con- 
demned, was to be perpetuated in Manchester, a new 
diocese, whilst all relief in testamentary cases was with- 
held from them and retained by the diocesan and pre- 
rogative courts then in existence. 

'In the same year, on the motion of Alderman Kay, 
the Charitable Trusts Committee were appointed, whose 
duties were "to enquire into all charities within the 
borough of Manchester, and to report thereon from time 
to time, and upon all matters relating thereto, as they 
shall think necessary or desirable." From this resulted 
the report by Mr. Kay, in the form of a letter to the 
mayor, on the then condition of Hulme's Charity. 2 This 
charity had been founded by William Hulme, of Kears- 
ley, to support four poor bachelors of arts at Brazenose 
College, Oxford ; but owing to the enormously increased 
value of the investments the nature of the trust was from 
time to time altered. An increase was made in the 
number of beneficiaries and in the amount of the bene- 
factions, and when the revenues still multiplied, churches 
and parsonages were built and advowsons were bought. 
This was done under Parliamentary sanction, but public 
opinion protested against it. Mr. John Bright, in 1851, 
moved, in the House of Commons, for a return showing 
the several advowsons and ecclesiastical benefices pur- 
chased by the trustees, with the price paid for each and 

1 Council Proceedings, 1846-7, p. 108. 

* This valuable report appeared in the Council's Proceedings, 1847-8, pp. 173- 
188, and has since been reprinted with the paper read before the Statistical Society. 


their annual value ; but the trustees refused to make the 
return, stating that Parliament had no right to ask them. 
Mr. Kay brought up the subject once more, in a paper 
which he read before the Manchester Statistical Society, 
nth January, 1855, an< ^ closed by asking certain ques- 
tions; the last two of which were: "Has not the time 
arrived when the large manufacturing and commercial 
community of Lancashire has a right to require the 
establishment of a university in the county?" And: 
"Is there any better mode of applying the surplus of 
Hulme's Charity than to the founding of a university, 
or any object more in accordance with the general in- 
tentions of the founder, William Hulme?" 

A quarter of a century passed before any practical 
answer was given, but one of the minor acts of the 
present Government 1 was the passing of an act, dated 
26th August, 1 88 1, by which the administration of the 
trust was placed upon a proper basis ; but the estates 
managers, and the trustees in whom is vested the 
patronage of livings, are self-elective. It is to be hoped 
that the day is not distant when Mr. Kay's wishes may 
be more fully realised than they are at present, by the 
sale of the advowsons and the endowment of the college 
or the university at Manchester. Mr. Kay was the last 
of the borough reeves, rilling that office in 1846, the 
year when he was Mayor of Manchester. 

Shortly after his withdrawal from public life he retired 
to Wimbledon, and there spent the remainder of his life 
in cultivating his refined tastes and in making himself 
useful as occasion offered. He died i6th May, 1863, 
and was buried at St. John's Church, Manchester. Mr. 
Kay was a magistrate of the county of Lancaster and 
of the borough of Manchester. 

'Mr. Gladstone's Government, 1880-1885. 



Mr. Fletcher was born in 1785 at Compton, near 
Wolverhampton, where his forefathers had lived for some 
generations on their own land. 1 Much of this property 
had been squandered, some of it unwisely given away 
by the grandfather, greatly to the detriment of his large 
family. Mr. Fletcher's father was the eldest of six 
sons, and he left a family of ten children. He was a 
man of energy and great integrity; his wife, the 
daughter of a Nonconformist minister, was a woman 
" of strong sense, active domestic virtues, and sincere 
piety," and to her influence and companionship the 
subject of this sketch " attributed a large share in the 
formation of his character." 2 She never allowed him 
to be idle, and if lessons were learnt spare time had to 
be spent in tending the cattle, hoeing the field, or 
weeding the garden ; a discipline that admirably pre- 
pared the future merchant, who had to make so much of 
his fortune by saving little things. At ten years of age 
he was sent to the Wolverhampton Grammar School, 
where he received such an education as was common in 
those days. , Four years afterwards he was apprenticed 
at Wolverhampton, where he remained till he was 
twenty, when he came to Manchester ; and after some 
few years' experience in a home-trade house, he com- 
menced business on his own account in 1811. Here, 
by perseverance, integrity, and careful watchfulness of 
his business, he rose to take his place among the 
foremost home-trade houses of the town. 

Mr. Fletcher did not assume a prominent position as 
a politician or as a municipal administrator, but he was a 
man of earnest convictions, and if he did not frequently 

1 Good Words, 1864, p. 571. * Ibid. 


display them upon the platform he was ready to act 
when occasion required. Thus when the railway had 
been made between Liverpool and Manchester, and 
short lines and grand junctions sprang up in various 
directions, the Manchester people wanted more direct 
communication with the metropolis than to go round by 
Warrington, and clamoured for a direct route, Samuel 
Fletcher was the mover of a resolution to that effect 
in public meeting of his fellow citizens held January, 


Previously, in 1838, when the anti-corn-law agitation 

was beginning to take practical shape, and the Man- 
chester Chamber of Commerce halted lamely over a 
moderate fixed duty, or a modified sliding scale of lower 
duties, at a meeting of the chamber held on the I3th 
December, '"Mr. Samuel Fletcher, after some sensible 
remarks on the absurdity of supposing that we ought to 
make ourselves independent of other nations, in matters 
of exchange, and the expression of his belief that ' a 
reduction of the duties on corn' would not be injurious 
to the interests of the landowner, moved that a petition 
for the repeal of the corn laws be presented to the House 
of Commons." The resolution was carried. 2 In 1845 
his firm contributed ^500 towards the league fund of 

But, while he did not shrink from public work when 
he thought it his duty to obey the call, his heart was in 
quieter pursuits. Mr. Fletcher was pre-eminently a 
" religious" man, following after his mother's training in 
church government. He was a Nonconformist of the 
old type, and it was seldom that his place was empty at 
Grosvenor Street Independent Chapel, when his name- 

1 Prentice's History of the League, i. 79. * Ibid., ii. 416. 


sake but not his relative Richard Fletcher was in 
the pulpit. He was a deacon, and for many years the 
treasurer, of the chapel. In home work his purse, his 
voice, and his energy were always responsive to the call 
of those who interested themselves in the claims of the 
necessitous and neglected. He was an enthusiastic sup- 
porter of Sunday schools, and it must be remembered 
that for nearly half a century these schools afforded the 
best secular as well as moral and religious training for the 
poor. He frequently took a class, and gave addresses 
to young people between the interval of teaching and 
the pulpit exercises in the chapel. He sometimes 
preached in one of the branch schools or to country 
congregations. Having an excellent memory he could 
repeat with ease what he had heard or read. A good 
story is told of his using this gift of memory. He had 
gone to Southport, and while there the eloquent Dr. 
M'All visited that watering-place. It was long before 
the days of railways, and visitors were comparatively 
few. There was a small preaching-room at Churchtown 
connected with the Congregational chapel at Southport, 
and the services, held in the afternoon and evening, 
were often conducted by laymen. Dr. M'All had 
preached at Southport in the morning and was to 
preach at Churchtown in the evening; meanwhile Mr. 
Fletcher, who had been the doctor's hearer in the 
morning, took the afternoon service at the preaching- 
room, and gave his audience the doctor's morning dis- 
course. The worthy doctor, all unconscious of this, 
gave the Churchtown people his morning's sermon, and 
to their great surprise they asked how was it that Dr. 
M'All repeated to them Mr. Fletcher's sermon? 

Mr. Fletcher was a founder of the city mission and a 
warm friend of the Bible and tract societies; he was a 


liberal supporter of the hospitals of Manchester, and few 
cases of distress appealed to him in vain. But his chief 
love was perhaps the London Missionary Society. He 
was for many years the treasurer and chairman of the 
Manchester branch of that great society. To him 
the annual meetings when a Williams, a Moffat, a 
Legge, an Ellis, or a Freeman appeared to tell the 
tale of spiritual conquest in China, Africa, Madagas- 
car, or the South Seas were yearly jubilees. The 
" Missionary Breakfasts " which he gave at Broomfield 
still linger as pleasant memories with many a poor 
struggling minister or hard-worked deacon. At these 
gatherings he welcomed the representatives of the 
contributing churches and other friends, and afforded 
them a freer opportunity of hearing from the missionaries 
of the work that was being done than could be given 
in public meeting. The house and spacious grounds 
were alike thrown open to the visitors, and the happi- 
ness of the guests was reflected in the beaming 
countenance of the well-pleased host. "He had," on 
such occasions, " one of the sweetest rewards and most 
pleasant spectacles that wait upon benevolence the 
recompense of conscious self-sacrifice for the good of 
others, and the sight of the happiness it has conferred." 
Professor Henry Rogers, in the sketch he has written 
of Mr. Fletcher's life, 1 goes so far as to give him the 
credit of suggesting the foundation of Owens College. 
He says: " Of the value he attached to all culture, and 
of his earnest desire and effort to secure to the mercan- 
tile classes the means of an improved education, he gave 
signal proof in the part he took in the formation of 
Owens College, the original conception of which, we 

1 Good Words, 1864, pp 570-9. 


believe, is due to him" It is said that Mr. Fletcher 
narrated to his friend George Faulkner the very pleasing 
impressions he had received during a recent visit to the 
Continent, where he had been struck with the facilities 
for obtaining a liberal education at a small expense 
afforded to the middle classes by the colleges existing 
in many large towns of Germany and Switzerland. 
He regretted there was no such institution in Man- 
chester, and urged that it would be a noble and 
worthy use of large wealth to appropriate it to such an 
object. Mr. Faulkner was interested in the conversa- 
tion, and remembering it, when Owens asked what he 
should do with his money, advised him to found a college 
therewith. Such is the story ; how far Faulkner or 
Owens may have been influenced by the advice it is 
now impossible to tell. It should be remembered that 
when an attempt was made in 1836 to establish a 
college at Manchester Samuel Fletcher was one of the 
committee ; and that, having a cultured taste himself, 
he would wish others to share it. 

He believed in an educated ministry, and was a 
generous supporter of the Lancashire Independent 

He gave ,500 to found the Victoria scholarship, 
in honour of the Queen's visit to Manchester; also 
^50 to the founding of the Dalton scholarship; and 
when the trustees of Owens College needed a larger 
income to meet the increasing expenditure of the 
college, Mr. Fletcher was one of the most active in 
raising the auxiliary fund of ; 10,000. The records 
state 1 that on April 22nd, 1852, it was resolved: "That 
the grateful thanks of his co-trustees be and are hereby 

1 Minute Book of Owens College, vol. i. 


given to Mr. Fletcher, for his very energetic and suc- 
cessful endeavours to promote the interests and extend 
the benefits of the college, by raising and largely con- 
tributing to the noble auxiliary fund now reported by 
Mr. Fletcher." 

Mr. Fletcher died October I3th, 1863, and in the 
college minutes it is recorded that " The event of the 
decease of S. Fletcher, Esq., was stated and considered. 
' Resolved : That the surviving trustees of Owens Col- 
lege deeply lament the irreparable loss which they and 
the institution committed to their charge have sustained 
in the death of their highly- esteemed colleague, Samuel 
Fletcher, Esq., to whose judicious counsels, unremitting 
exertions, and large liberality, from its foundation and 
through its progress, Owens College is greatly indebted 
for its success and efficient working, and whose high 
character and amiable disposition ensured him the 
respect and regard of his colleagues in common with all 
to whom his excellent qualities were known.' ' 


With Mr. Morley's admirable biography accessible to 
all who care to read it, 1 there is no need to refer to 
Cobden's parliamentary life, nor even to speak in detail 
of his exertions to secure free trade. Born at Dunford, 
near Midhurst, June 3rd, 1804, of an old family of 
yeomen, he soon learned the vicissitudes of life. He 
was the fourth of eleven children, and the estate was 
not too large. His mother was a very fine woman, 
having great force of mind, shrewdness, and native 
good sense. His father was the gentlest and kindest 
of men, but without business energy. Those who 

1 The Life of Richard Cobden. 2 vols. 1 88 1. By "the Right Hon. John 
Morley, M.P. 


knew Richard Cobden can trace the qualities of both 
parents in him. He had in a very remarkable degree 
the faculty of "seeing" things and of making them 
clear to others ; and he never showed himself to greater 
advantage than when he took a working-class audience 
into his confidence, and in the frankest and freest 
manner perhaps with his hands in his pockets and 
balancing himself on heel or toe talked to them, and 
convinced them by the simplicity and clearness of his 
exposition. His gentleness disarmed his bitterest foes, 
and speedily gained him a place in the affection of 
those who listened to him with the honest desire to learn 
from what he had to say. 

But he had a lonely and bitter path to tread. At ten 
years of age he was sent to a hateful Yorkshire school, 
where for five years he was ill-fed, ill-taught, ill-used, and 
never saw parent or friend. " A grim and desolate 
time," says his biographer, " of which he could never 
afterwards endure to speak." 

Then he joined his uncle in London, to be badly 
treated. With unusual ferocity the uncle forbade the 
boy to learn French, and discouraged his love of books. 
In 1825 he "took to the road" as a commercial 
traveller, and singularly enough it suited him very well. 
It was not always a refined occupation or one suited to 
a nervous temperament, but Cobden rejoiced in the 
freedom from constraint which it afforded, and the 
opportunity which it gave him of studying the affairs 
of the world, a trait which characterised him through 

For two years he was the faithful servant of an old 
employer, travelling over the country with his samples 
of muslins and prints. He was then learning a valuable 
lesson which was to bear fruit in due time. 


In 1828 he, with two friends who were in the same 
trade, determined to commence business on their own 
account. With a thousand pounds in hand half of it 
borrowed they came to Manchester in such complete 
ignorance of the commercial houses of the town that 
they had to use a directory at the hotel to make out 
a list of calico printers. This of itself would have 
daunted many men, but Cobden's hopefulness befriended 
him, and a quiet confidence in his own power gave him 
strength. In describing this scene to a friend he asks, 
why did they think of the calico printers? "'Because 
we knew we should be able to satisfy them that we had 
advantages from our large connections, our knowledge 
of the best branch of the business in London, and our 
superior taste in design, which would ensure success. 
We introduced ourselves to Fort Brothers and Co., a 
rich house, and we told our tale, honestly concealing 
nothing. In less than two years from 1830 we owed 
them .40,000 for goods, which they had sent to us upon 
no other security than our characters and knowledge of 
our business." And the reason they afterwards gave to 
Cobden for this was that they would rather trust young 
men with a connection and with a knowledge of their 
trade, if they knew them to possess character and ability, 
to those who started with capital without those advan- 
tages. Cobden and Co. throve on the commission from 
the sale of Messrs. Fort's goods, but it stimulated them 
to fresh enterprise. They determined to print their 
own goods. They took over from the Forts an old 
printworks at Sabden, and succeeded in business. But 
this was not sufficient. The works maintained some 
six hundred hands, but there was neither school nor 

1 Life, &c., i., p. 1 6. 


church for them. The Dissenters had their chapel, but 
it was insufficient for the growing wants of the neigh- 
bourhood. Cobden began his career as an agitator at 
this time (1832), making speeches at Clitheroe on behalf 
of the education of the young, and trying to stimulate 
the energies of the people by bringing over twenty 
infants from a school at Manchester to show what could 
be done. It is needless to say that schools were very 
shortly afterwards established at Sabden. 

'Cobden's earliest political work consisted of letters 
addressed anonymously to a Manchester newspaper 
(1835), urging the claims of the borough for incorpora- 
tion. He took a great interest in this subject, his 
clear mind at once perceiving the great advantage of 
local self-government on a popular basis. He had to 
meet with opposition, contumely, and misrepresentation ; 
but this did not hinder him, and he enthusiastically 
fought in the cause till a charter of incorporation was 

On the 1 4th December, 1838, he was elected coun- 
cillor for St. Michael's Ward, the numbers being : 
Richard Cobden, 160; John Brooks, 159; Thomas 
Potter, 159 (a noble triumvirate). 

On the following day he was elected alderman, and 
assigned to Medlock Street Ward. The work of the 
council was then very small except in fighting the old 
boroughreeve obstructives and the committees were 
few. Cobden was appointed to the watch committee. 
The Queen signified her gracious pleasure to grant a 
commission of the peace to the borough, and, on the 
recommendation of the council, Cobden was placed 
upon the commission February 5th, 1839. 

1 Life, <2rV., i., p. 26. 


His active spirit found plenty of congenial employ- 
ment in developing municipal business, and he used the 
powerful influence of the corporation to favour his great 
work of free trade. On 3ist March, 1841, he moved in 
the council : " That petitions be presented to both 
Houses of Parliament for the total and immediate repeal 
of the corn laws." This was adopted, and petitions were 
sent under the corporate seal to Earl Fitzwilliam and Mr. 
Mark Philips for presentation. In 1835 appeared the 
pamphlet which first showed Cobden's power as an 
observer and writer England, Ireland, and America. 
Its influence was at once felt. 

But whilst engaged in the anxieties of his own 
business, in agitating for the incorporation of the town, 
in drawing conclusions from other nations, Cobden 
found leisure to amuse himself. He became a governor 
of the Natural History Society, and was very active in 
the revision of the society's rules in 1836. 

His later career need not be traced in these pages. 
Owens had a high regard for him, and not only named 
him as one of his trustees, but left him ,100 by will. 
Cobden never acted ; before the scheme was in operation 
he had removed to London, and was beyond the legal 


Mr. John Benjamin Smith was the eldest son of 
Benjamin Smith, a silk throwster of Coventry, and 
was born in that town February yth, 1794. He was 
educated at Warwick, and at the age of fourteen entered 
the ofHce of his uncle, Joseph Smith, cotton merchant, 
of Manchester. His excellent business habits and ac- 
curacy soon placed him in a position of trust, and at 
nineteen years old he was made responsible for the 


whole correspondence of the firm. At that time 
the cotton trade was largely in the hands of the 
East India Company, who held periodical sales in 
London. America was beginning to export raw cotton 
largely and in constantly greater quantities ; but 
"Surats" still held their own, and the American 
war of 1812 tended still further to throw the demand 
upon Indian produce. Young Smith attended one of 
these London sales before he was twenty years old, and 
purchased cotton on his own judgment and valuation to 
the value of thirty thousand pounds, on which the firm 
realised a large profit. The silk trade having become 
unprofitable, Mr. Benjamin Smith left Coventry and 
joined his younger brother Joseph as a cotton merchant 
at Manchester. In 1826 the partnership was dissolved, 
and the two well-known firms of Joseph Smith and Sons 
and Benjamin Smith and Sons, of Cotton Court, were 
established. Both of them prospered, and in 1836 Mr. 
J. B. Smith retired altogether from business, his father 
having died in 1830. 

Liberal opinions had been early instilled into J. B. 
Smith by his father, and his own personal connection 
with the reformers' meeting in St. Peter's Field (Peterloo) 
on the 1 6th of August, 1819,* brought him into a 
prominent position in politics ; and for the part he took 
in the press in exposing the authors of that infamous 
act he was in 1821 presented with the freedom of the 
borough of Nottingham. 

In 1825 he commenced, in conjunction with Mr. J. 
C. Dyer and Mr. John Shuttleworth, an agitation for 
the repeal of the corn laws. The year 1824 had been 

1 For a fuller account of this slaughter see Prentice's Personal Recollections of 
Manchester ; chs. x. and xi., and Bamford's Passages in the Life of a Radical, 
vol. i., pp. 204-211. 


profitable to Lancashire ; and the introduction of 
improved machinery for spinning and weaving cotton 
had enriched the manufacturers and merchants ; the 
workmen, too, had benefited thereby. This pros- 
perity continued into 1825, but before the year had 
far advanced a reaction set in ; there had been great 
speculation, and there was a terrible collapse ; mills 
were wrecked, machinery smashed, and streets filled 
with rioters. A Manchester newspaper of December 
3ist, 1825, contained a list of sixty-seven banks which 
had suspended payment in the year. 

Mr. Smith thought this a favourable time to preach 
free trade, and to show that protection led to periods of 
inflation and times of depression. The response was 
feeble, but there was a sowing of the seed. 

Early in 1830 Mr. Smith's name appears amongst 
others to a requisition for a meeting to be held at the 
Town Hall, to take into consideration the propriety of 
addressing Parliament on the distressed state of the 
country, and of petitioning that an immediate reduction 
of taxation be made, and that commerce be not disturbed 
by again altering the value of the currency. The 
meeting was held, and it was urged that the existing 
distress was caused by landlords' monopolies at home, 
and the tea, sugar, and timber monopolies abroad, from 
the restrictions on the trade in corn, which a sordid 
aristocracy, for its own advantage, had had the power 
to inflict upon the nation ; and from those mono- 
polies which, to the disgrace of the commercial system, 
were perpetuated to gratify the selfishness of the 
powerful few, and at the expense and to the injury 
of the powerless many. The reform agitation was 
continued, and in January, 1831, a very influential 
meeting in its favour was held at Manchester, and 


the following week Mr. Smith was one of the speakers 
at a meeting held in Salford. These meetings peti- 
tioned in favour of giving the respective towns parlia- 
mentary representatives to the exclusion of the Gattons 
and Sarums. 

This is not the place to tell the thrilling story of the 
passing of the Reform Bill, and of the excitement at 
Manchester, 1 and the important part the town took in the 
agitation; but when the bill was in jeopardy, J. B. Smith, 
with Mark Philips and Joseph Brotherton, was among 
the speakers to urge that the supplies be stopped if the 
bill were thrown out. Nor was his pen idle; under the 
signature of Mercator he wrote a number of powerful 
addresses on parliamentary reform and what it meant, 
which doubtless contributed to the successful return of the 
Right Hon. C. Poulett Thomson and Robert Hyde Greg. 
Prentice 2 tells us very plainly what it meant: " Free 
trade, then, in the first place, peace, non-intervention in 
the affairs of other states, retrenchment, full religious 
liberty, the abolition of slavery in our colonies, wide 
constituencies in municipal elections, protection to the 
voter, and Parliaments more frequently accountable to 
the people were the objects sought to be obtained ; and, 
these kept always in view, an earnest and effective effort 
was made for the Reform Bill, as the instrument by 
which they were to be accomplished. To this constant 
forward look to the practical may be attributed the lead 
which Manchester took in the anti-corn-law movement." 
They were "the fat things full of marrow" which 
were promised in the political Canaan, but they could 
only be obtained by the people themselves going in to 
take possession. 

1 For this see Prentice's Manchester, ch. xxvi. 
* History of the Leagtie, i., pp. I, 2. 


On January 29th, 1834, a meeting of merchants and 
manufacturers was held in the Exchange Committee 
Room to consider how the cause of corn-law repeal 
was to be forwarded. Good speeches were made by 
R. H. Greg, R. Potter, M.P., Mark Philips, M.P., 
J. Brotherton, M.P., John Shuttleworth, J. B. Smith, 
and J. C. Dyer; but nothing came of it. There was a 
good harvest in 1834, a better in 1835, and great pros- 
perity in 1836. This for a time checked the anti-corn- 
law movement. Then the representative for Man- 
chester was a member of a Government, who, whilst 
they were good free traders, had also a great deal of 
the " Why cannot you let it alone?" about them. 

At the general election, on the accession of Queen 
Victoria to the throne in 1837, Mr. Smith was a candi- 
date for the borough of Blackburn, and in his address 
to the electors declared for vote by ballot, abolition of 
Church rates, and unflinching opposition to the corn 
laws; but he was defeated by the corruption of the 
electors as he positively refused to bribe. 

The prosperity of 1834 and the two following years 
was followed by a time of great adversity. There had 
been much speculation, and this was followed by severe 
reaction. Three great American houses failed, and the 
Bank of England had to assist Brown, Shipley, and Co., 
of Liverpool. But these troubles infused new energy 
into the reformers. The laggard Chamber of Com- 
merce, at its meeting on February i4th, 1838, turned 
its attention to the operations of the corn law. Mr. J. 
M. Lees congratulated the chamber on the attention 
which had been paid to the subject by the directors 
who had brought forward an urgent petition for the 
repeal of the corn law. He said the subject had been 
introduced to the chamber by Mr. J. B. Smith several 


years ago with great earnestness and zeal, and as Mr. 
Smith was still a director he expected the subject would 
receive the attention it deserved. 

The same year the Anti-Corn-Law Association was 
formed, with J. B. Smith as its treasurer, and on its 
Provisional Committee were found such men as Elkanah 
Armitage, John Bright, W. R. Callender, J. C. Dyer, 
George Hadfield, Alexander Henry, James Kershaw, 
James Murray, R. N. Philips, Thomas Potter, and 
George Wilson. A week later the list included 
Richard Cobden, Jeremiah Garnett, William Neild, 
Robert Stuart, and J. E. Taylor. The campaign was 
fairly opened, and on October 25th Mr. Paulton de- 
livered his first lecture to a very crowded audience in 
the Corn Exchange, Mr. J. B. Smith in the chair. In 
introducing the lecturer, Mr. Smith said the object of 
the association was to obtain the free right of the people 
to exchange their labour for as much food as could be 
got for it ; that they might no longer be obliged by law 
to buy their food at one shop, and that the dearest in 
the world, but be at liberty to go to that at which it 
could be obtained cheapest. 

From this time forward for several years Mr. Smith 
was indefatigable in presiding or speaking at meetings, 
and both by voice and pen stirring up the people to 
thought and action for the accomplishment of the great 
object. It was not the mass of the people alone who 
were ignorant and prejudiced, but also the wealthy and 
those whose business risks should have made them 
alive to the benefits of free trade. The Chamber of 
Commerce contained many members who were protec- 
tionists at heart, or who only ventured upon a very 
moderate reduction of duty. These gentlemen after- 
wards seceded and formed the Commercial Association, 


leaving the Chamber of Commerce to their robuster 

Meanwhile J. B. Smith did battle with prejudice. 
The chamber held a largely-attended meeting of sub- 
scribers on 1 3th December, 1838, Mr. G. W. Wood, 
M.P., in the chair, to petition Parliament about the corn 
laws. The petition as originally drawn was unexcep- 
tional, but riders had been added to it, and when the 
president put it to the meeting for adoption, Mr. Smith 
protested. " The inference to be drawn from that 
prayer was," said he, " that the chamber approved of a 
protective corn law of some sort an inference which 
he could never allow to be drawn from any document 
purporting to bear his sanction. He did not hesitate 
to say that he could not approve of any protective duty 
on corn, and that in his opinion the whole course of 
legislation on the subject had been, from beginning to 
end, one of the most scandalous instances of landowners 
legislating for their own benefit, at the expense of the 
people, that was to be found in the history of legislation 
in any country of the world." Mr. Smith was greatly 
applauded in his speech, and in conclusion desired to 
add to the petition that "while the members of the 
chamber sought for abolition of the corn laws, they were 
not so unjust and inconsistent as to ask any protection 
for manufactures." Cobden also spoke, and at the 
adjourned meeting moved a resolution, and "Mr. Smith 
spoke at great length, and as effectively as if he had 
sat at the feet of the great economist whose name he 
bore." 1 The resolution was passed almost unanimously. 

The Anti- Corn -Law Association now took up the 
question vigorously, and at their meeting on the loth 

1 History of the League, i., p. 88. 


of January, 1839, Mr. J. B. Smith, who was chairman 
of the association, said that to give force to petitions 
presented to Parliament, it was necessary that the people 
should assume an attitude that would demand attention 
to their prayers. It was agreed to raise a fund, Cobden 
recommending an investment of a part of the property 
of the gentlemen present to save the rest from confis- 
cation. J. B. Smith and some others gave ^100; and 
it was moved by J. B. Smith, Esq., seconded by R. H. 
Greg, Esq., "That this meeting, feeling deeply and 
solemnly convinced that the foreign commerce of the 
country, upon which the welfare of all classes of our 
manufacturing population depends, is threatened with 
impendent danger, from which it cannot be preserved 
unless the duties upon foreign corn and all other articles 
of food be immediately abolished." This was carried, 
and a committee of eight gentlemen, including Cobden 
and J. B. Smith, was appointed to canvas for and 
disburse money. 

Smith thus tells the story of his becoming acquainted 
with Cobden and its effect on that great man. 1 " I had 
for a long time," says Smith, " only known Cobden by 
seeing his speeches on education in the papers. . . . 
One day, however, Archibald Prentice called on me, 
saying: ' I am authorised to say he (Cobden) wishes to 
make your acquaintance.' I called at his warehouse 
and he said he had read with great interest my speeches 
on the corn laws and free trade, and was of opinion that 
these questions were of greater interest to the manu- 
facturing interests and to the country at large than any 
other. He presented me with his pamphlet on England, 
Ireland, and America, and we parted. The next day 
I dined with him, and we began to talk about the corn 

1 Information of Edwin Lawrence, Esq. 


laws. I observed, ' I don't at all agree with you on the 
corn laws.' 'How is that,' said he? 'Why I see by 
the pamphlet you gave me yesterday you are in favour 
of a duty on the importation of foreign corn.' 'Well, 
why not a duty on foreign corn as well as a duty on tea 
and sugar?' I replied there was no analogy between 
the two. Duties were levied on tea and sugar for the 
purpose of raising a revenue for the state, while duties 
on foreign corn were not levied for the benefit of the 
state, but for the purpose of keeping up the price of 
corn, and thus enabling the owners of land to obtain 
high rents. ' How is that ?' said Cobden. ' Why, 
suppose there was a duty of ten shillings a quarter levied 
on foreign corn, with an importation of two million 
quarters a year, the duty would amount to ,1,000,000. 
But the consumption of corn in this country is probably 
thirty million quarters, and a duty of ten shillings per 
quarter would by so much raise the price of English 
corn, and the result would be that a duty of \ 5,000,000 
a year would be levied on the consumers of corn for the 
purpose of raising ,1,000,000 for the national treasury.' 
Cobden, after a short pause, exclaimed: ' You are right, 
you are right;' and from that time became a total 

Out of the association the Anti-Corn-Law League 
was formed. The agitation was commenced in London, 
and provincial delegates had frequently to attend the 
meetings to urge the question in Parliament. Progress 
was slow, but the league was not disheartened ; it 
redoubled its efforts. The Free Trade Pavilion was 
erected at Manchester, on the site of Peterloo, and at its 
opening Mr. Smith presided over the great banquet at 
which three thousand eight hundred persons were seated. 

It is impossible in so short a sketch to follow Mr. 


Smith in his incessant activity. In presiding at meet- 
ings, attending deputations, seeking interviews with 
ministers, and encouraging members in the House of 
Commons, he was leading a very earnest life; but there 
was a new field of duty about to open to him. A vacancy 
having occurred at Walsall, the league determined that 
the seat must be contested in the free-trade interest, 
and accordingly in January, 1841, Mr. Smith (who was 
chairman of the league) issued his address to the 
electors. The excitement was intense; and although 
the nomination took place in a snowstorm, five thousand 
or six thousand persons were present, and the show of 
hands was almost unanimously in Mr. Smith's favour; but 
the Whig families of Hatherton and Lyttleton held aloof, 
and the numbers at the close of the poll were : J. N. 
Gladstone, 363; J. B. Smith, 336; Lyttleton, 162. This 
defeat was regarded as a moral victory, and a silver salver 
was presented to Mr. Smith by the ladies of Walsall. 

In 1841 Lord John Russell proposed an eight-shilling 
fixed duty on corn in place of the existing restrictions ; 
but he was defeated and a dissolution took place. At 
the general election which followed, Cobden, Milner 
Gibson, and others were returned to Parliament as free 
traders, and Mr. Smith, as president of the league, was 
urged to contest Dundee. His health was bad and he 
desired rest, but the times were critical and he con- 
sented to enter upon the contest. But he was defeated, 
the enemy having most skilfully divided the party by 
bringing forward a Chartist. He accepted his defeat as 
an evidence that he should seek the rest he so much 
needed. He married on August I2th, 1841, Jemina, 
younger daughter of William Burning, of Liver- 
pool, a lady of great ability, to whom he had been 
long attached. Mr. and Mrs. Smith went abroad and 


remained on the continent for nearly two years, his 
health having completely broken down. In his absence 
others filled the place in the free-trade movement 
which he had so ably occupied. Those were times 
when days and weeks were big with stirring events, 
and if a soldier fell in the strife another had to take his 
place. This was a great misfortune to Mr. Smith's 
public reputation. No man had laboured harder, pro- 
bably none so hard, in the earlier days of the free-trade 
movement: with voice and pen and money, in Man- 
chester, in London, in the large towns : in the thankless 
work of contesting elections, for the purpose of making 
his principles known, he was incessantly active; but 
the strongest have their limit, and when Mr. Smith's 
health broke down he had to let others gain a name 
and fame while he was being forgotten. But the great 
leaders did not forget him; they were ever ready to 
acknowledge their obligations to him for the informa- 
tion he poured forth in the Anti-Bread-Tax Circular 
and in The League* 

In 1847 he was returned to Parliament for Stirling 
Burghs, and in 1852 he was elected for Stockport, 
which seat he held till his retirement in 1874. 

In the American war he warmly espoused the cause 
of the North; and he had long felt, as had others who 
visited America, that slavery would probably never be 
abolished without war. This led him to urge the 
Government to encourage the growth of cotton in India. 

Mr. Smith died at Ascot, September i5th, 1879, at 
the ripe age of eighty-five, having retained his vigour 
of mind to the last. 

1 Mr. Smith wrote the first article in The League. It was given before its pub- 
lication to Cobden as the brief for his great speech at Covent Garden, a report of 
which appeared in the same issue. 


Mr. Smith was a trustee of the college under Owens's 
will; but before he was called upon to act he became 
disqualified by having ceased to reside within the limits 
prescribed by the testator. He was a donor of .1,000 
to the general fund of the extension college, and the 
chair of English literature which bears his name has 
been endowed by his two daughters, Miss Jemina 
Smith and Mrs. Lawrence, and his son-in-law, Edwin 
Lawrence, Esq., of London. 


Mr. John Frederic Foster was born June i8th, 1795, 
and was the son of the Rev. Frederick William Foster 
and Anna Louisa Eleanora, his wife, a daughter of the 
Rev. Benjamin La Trobe. Mr. Foster was a Moravian, 
and was brought up at the Moravian Institution at 
F airfield. 1 His father was a bishop of the Church of 
the United Brethren, and his father-in-law was a dis- 
tinguished preacher in the same body. 

Mr. Foster graduated at Queen's College, Cambridge, 
as captain of the poll, in 1817, and was called to the 
bar by the benchers of the Middle Temple in 1821. He 
joined the northern circuit, and attended the quarter 
sessions of the hundred of Salford, where his excellent 
abilities, high character, and sound judgment soon led 
to his advancement. 

He is said to have been descended from the ancient 
house of Forster or Foster, of Bamborough Castle, 
Northumberland. Sir Thomas Foster, Knt., was made 
a judge of Common Pleas in 1607. His second son 
was also a judge of the Court of Common Pleas, and 

1 For a view and description of this place, where many young people of both 
sexes have received an admirable training, see Dr. Aikin's Thirty Miles Round 
Manchester, p. 232. 


was made Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench 
in 1660. John Foster, the eldest son of the judge, Sir 
Thomas, was direct ancestor of Mr. Foster, and acquired 
large estates in Jamaica, which remained in the family. 

Cromwell regarded the claims of Spain to the exclu- 
sive right of navigating the American seas as prepos- 
terous, and the outrages committed by the Spaniards 
upon British subjects in those parts provoked him to 
send an expedition, consisting of 6,500 men, to chastise 
them. It was under Admiral Penn and General 
Venables. 1 Cromwell did his best to establish a firm 
and peaceable government, as well as to people the 
island from Scotland and Ireland ; but his efforts for a 
time were fruitless, owing to the incessant attacks of 
the Spaniards and their negroes, who retreated to the 
mountains ; to the disaffection of the troops ; and to the 
mortality of the settlers. Foster would have had a 
rough time of it, but he seems to have faced the diffi- 
culties, and the Bogue estate was retained in the family. 

Mr. Foster was appointed stipendiary magistrate by 
Lord Bexley in 1825, and held that laborious office for 
thirteen years, when on April i4th, 1838, he was 
unanimously elected to the chairmanship of the quarter 
sessions of Salford, which he held during the remainder 
of his life, the day of his death being the twentieth 
anniversary of his appointment. 

Mr. Foster's numerous friends and admirers deter- 
mined to celebrate his elevation to the chairmanship 
by some substantial proof of their high regard. This 
took the form of a service of plate, which was presented 

1 For an interesting account of the disastrous retreat from Espaniola, and suc- 
cessful occupation of Jamaica, see letter, June 3rd, 1655, by J. Daniell to his 
mother "at her howse Tably, neare Knottesforde in Cheshyer." Thurloe State 
Papers, iii. 504-8. 



to him some twelve months later (March 22nd, 1839). 
The Guardian report states that the plate bore the 
following inscription : 


from contributors of different ranks and parties, 

in testimony of their sense of his services 
as Stipendiary Magistrate in the division of Manchester 

during thirteen years ; 

in which office he gained the esteem and confidence of all, 

by combining legal talent with spotless integrity, 

urbanity and firmness, 

discretion with vigour 

and mercy with justice. 1838." 

The subscription was limited to one guinea each, and 
was raised by persons of various religious and political 
opinions. There were nearly seven hundred signatures 
to the address. 

In January, 1839, it was announced that the Queen 
had graciously intimated her intention to grant a com- 
mission of the peace for the borough of Manchester, 
and the corporation were invited to forward a list of 
names of thirty gentlemen who, in their opinion, were 
well qualified for the position of justices. The list was 
sent, and on the 3rd February following was returned, 
but with this important alteration, the first name in the 
commission, which had not been sent by the corporation, 
was "our truly and well-beloved John Frederic Foster, 
Esquire." 1 

There were reasons why he could not accept this 
appointment, and at a meeting of the council, held 
February 2Oth, 1839," the town clerk read a letter he 
had received from Mr. Foster, " one of the gentlemen 

1 Proceedings of 'the Council, p. 52. 1839. 
* See Guardian, February 23rd. 


included in Her Majesty's commission for the borough, 
in answer to the summons to him to attend this meeting 
and take the oaths and qualify. Mr. Foster states his 
reasons for refraining to comply with the request to 
attend, which, he says, have reference in a great degree 
to his position as chairman of quarter sessions. Inde- 
pendently of the consideration that he wished now to 
be relieved from the laborious duties which he had had 
to discharge as stipendiary magistrate, he had received 
official notice of an intention to make an application to 
the county magistrates to obtain the use of the New 
Bailey Prison for the purposes of the borough, and he 
thought it desirable that he should be free to act in the 
character of chairman of quarter sessions, without com- 
bining with it the office of a magistrate of the borough." 
This act of self-sacrifice was not forgotten, and greater 
honour was conferred upon him. 

The Mayor of Manchester received a letter, signed 
S. M. Phillipps, dated Whitehall, i8th April, 1839, 
stating that he was directed by Lord John Russell to 
acquaint him, for the information of the town council of 
Manchester, that he had recommended J. F. Foster, 
Esq., to the Queen as a fit and proper person to be 
appointed recorder of Manchester, and Her Majesty 
had been pleased to confer the appointment on Mr. 
Foster. This is important, as it has been denied that 
Mr. Foster ever was recorder. It is true he did not 
act, for reasons to be presently given; but he certainly 
was appointed. 

The Guardian on the 2oth of the same month says : 
"We have no doubt that this appointment will give 
great and general satisfaction. Mr. Foster's conduct, 
both as stipendiary magistrate and as chairman of the 
quarter sessions, has been so exemplary, and so free 


from even the slightest suspicion of party feeling, that 
we are sure the inhabitants of the borough will hail his 
appointment with great pleasure." This would be 
great praise at any time, but it must have been espe- 
cially gratifying at a period when party passions were 
at high tension. But unfortunately it only represented 
one, though possibly the more intelligent, side of the 
community. The Tory papers treated the appointment 
very differently. The Courier, in a roundabout way, 
had to praise Mr. Foster, but the conclusions were 
vicious and bad. "It is with unfeigned regret," it says, 
"we feel ourselves imperatively called upon, by a sense 
of duty, to animadvert upon the conduct pursued by 
Mr. Foster in reference to the application of the pseudo- 
corporation on Monday. (This had reference to the 
appointment of a coroner.) Hitherto Mr. Foster has 
stood high in the opinion of his fellow-townsmen, and 
for that standing he has been indebted, not merely to 
the respect entertained for his legal acquirements, but 
perhaps principally to a supposed independence, firm- 
ness, and decision of character which peculiarly adapted 
him for discharging the duties of his situation. We 
did hope that, in any matter arising before him judi- 
cially, as chairman of the court of quarter sessions, he 
would so perform his functions as to exclude the possi- 
bility of imputing to him anything like want of self- 
respect, still less vacillation or truckling ; and that 
neither the fear of giving offence, nor the prospect of a 
recordership, would prevent that fearless expression of 
his legal opinion on the points before him which duty 
called for and the public had a right to expect. In this 
hope we have been most grievously disappointed." 
The Chronicle (April 22nd, 1839) was equally polite : 
"We cannot believe," it said, "without stronger evi- 


dence than we have yet received that Mr. Foster . . . 
would lay up for himself so undying a source of remorse, 
or ratify a bargain reminding us of the memorable trans- 
action which bartered the wages of treachery for the 
potter s field" 

Now there were doubtless men then, as there are 
now, who, never having been subjected to the gross 
slanders of known or unknown writers to the press, 
would say, "Take no notice of it; live it down." With 
George Cavendish 1 they would say: "Meseems it were 
no wisdom to credit every light tale, blasted abroad by 
the blasphemous mouth of the rude commonalty. For 
we daily hear how, with their blasphemous trump, they 
spread abroad innumerable lies, without either shame 
or honesty, which primd facie showeth forth a visage 
of truth, as though it were a perfect verity and matter 
indeed, whereas there is nothing more untrue. And 
amongst the wise sort so it is esteemed, with whom 
those babblings be of small force and effect." These 
examples of Christian resignation are no doubt nume- 
rous and edifying among those who have never been 
called upon to suffer; but to a sensitive, delicate, and 
upright man, the torture is unendurable. It is not a 
confession of sin, or of just rebuke ; it is an acknow- 
ledgment of a delicate, nervous organisation and a 
sensitive mind. 

It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that Mr. Foster 
wrote to the Under Secretary of State to refute the 
untruthfulness of the charges brought against him, and 
to say: u Under these circumstances I cannot but deem 
it essential to set myself right in this particular, and if 
I cannot satisfy my mind upon the subject, I should feel 

1 The Life of Cardinal Wohey, the prologue. 


compelled to decline the honour intended to be conferred 
upon me, and which otherwise I would accept with a 
deep sense of Lord John Russell's kindness and the 
confidence reposed upon me." 

Mr. Phillipps replied that the accusations in the news- 
papers were untrue, and Lord John Russell had known 
nothing of the alleged support given by the corporation 
till he had seen the statement in the newspapers. Lord 
John Russell, he said, " recommended your appoint- 
ment in consideration of your claim on the ground of 
public services, being satisfied also that you would, on 
all occasions, between all parties, act without partiality." 
A friend, writing to the Guardian on the subject, said : 
"After the satisfactory communication with the Home 
Office, which has been published, Mr. Foster no longer 
hesitated to accept the recordership ; but, on subse- 
quent consideration, it occurred to him that, so long as 
the disputes connected with the charter exist, questions 
might be brought before him, as chairman of the quarter 
sessions, which might place him in a position of 
great delicacy and difficulty, if he, at the same time, 
held the office of recorder. With this feeling he 
thought it right to tender his resignation, if the scruples 
he entertained were considered well grounded. The 
resignation was accepted, expressly out of respect for 
the delicacy thus evinced by Mr. Foster." 

This honourable sensitiveness characterised Mr. 
Foster through life; and on the announcement of his 
death, at the next meeting of the quarter sessions it 
was moved by Sir John Potter, seconded by Mr. 
Brandt, and carried: "That the magistrates for the 
county of Lancaster, acting for the hundred of Salford, 
having learned with the most poignant grief that it has 
pleased Providence to remove from his sphere of use- 


fulness and honour the universally respected chairman 
of the quarter sessions, the late John Frederic Foster, 
Esquire, cannot withhold their sincere expression of 
deep-felt regret on the lamentable event which has 
thus deprived this district of the services of a faithful, 
impartial, and upright administrator of justice. They 
desire to record their highest appreciation of his moral, 
legal, public, and private worth ; and having been 
privileged to witness the zealous, effective, and cour- 
teous discharge of his judicial duties, during a period 
of twenty years, they feel called upon, in the spirit of 
gratitude and esteem which animates them, to acknow- 
ledge the great obligations under which their departed 
friend has left them and the vast community for which 
he has laboured." 

In his first charge to the grand jury (1838) he urged 
the necessity for powers being granted to magistrates 
to deal summarily with juvenile offenders, so that they 
should not be contaminated by contact with old offenders. 
This power has since been granted with the most 
beneficial effects. 

Mr. Foster was a deputy lieutenant of Lancashire, 
and a justice of the peace for Lancashire and Cheshire, 
and a trustee of Hulme's Charity. 

He died suddenly at Alderley Edge, April 9th, 1858, 
having attended on that day an important meeting of 
trustees at Owens College. 



"But neither biographies nor annals will constitute the history of a university. 
The method I have adopted is to treat the college, growing into the university 
. . . as an organism, in respect of its constitution, its staff, and its educational 
equipment; and to trace that organism from " year to year. Sir A. GRANT, Bart., 
The Story of the University of Edinburgh, i., p. x. 

"To understand a thing aright we must know its origin and its history. "- 
A. H. SAYCE, Introduction to the. Science of Language, ii., ch. x., p. 300. 

T T has been already stated that the troublous times 
* which followed Owens's death prevented the execu- 
tors from making an early realisation of his estate ; the 
same cause disabled the trustees for educational purposes 
from formulating a plan of collegiate instruction. Nor 
were they to blame. The early pages of this book tell 
of unsuccessful attempts to found a college, or a higher 
grade of instruction in the town, and the trustees had 
no similar example elsewhere to copy ; they had, in 
fact, to carefully feel their way, and in the apprehension 
of unknown difficulties, to painfully construct a system 
to the best of their judgment. The older universities 
could be no guide to them in the solution of the 
problem ; and the surroundings of the University of 
London were so far different from those of Manchester 
and the manufacturing districts, that they could but 
afford illustrations of a system that had been fairly 
successful with middle-class students in the metropolis. 
The first meeting of the executors and trustees for 
educational purposes was held on Tuesday, i3th June, 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1850-1. 121 

1848, when it was stated by the solicitor that his firm 
(Messrs. Barlow and Aston) had, by order of the 
executors, addressed a letter convening the meeting to 
the trustees. The object of the meeting was to revise 
the list of trustees, already reduced by death and 

On the 3Oth of January, 1849, a meeting of the 
executors and trustees 1 was held, when it was resolved: 
" That Messrs. Alexander Kay, William Neild, Samuel 
Fletcher, John Frederic Foster, and James Hey wood 
be and are hereby appointed a committee to take into 
consideration the general character and plan of the insti- 
tution to be founded in pursuance of the directions of the 
testator, and the branches of learning and science to 
be taught therein; and to report thereon, and on such 
matters connected therewith as they shall consider proper 
to be brought under the consideration of the trustees, as 
early as may be convenient." 

The committee went very heartily into the question, 
and left on the minutes a record of the thoroughness 
with which they took up every subject of importance, 
and of the consultations they had with eminent men 
connected with various universities and colleges. 
Queries, with a printed extract from the testator's will, 
were sent to the following gentlemen : The Rev. R. W. 
Jelf, D.D., Principal of King's College, London; T. H. 
Key, Esq., M.A., University College, London ; Sir 
David Brewster, St. Andrews, N.B. ; Rev. R. Haldane, 
D.D., St. Andrews, N.B.; Rev. D. Macfarlane, D.D., 
Vice-Chancellor, University of Glasgow; Rev. W. Jack, 
D.D., Principal, King's College, Aberdeen ; Rev. John 
Lee, D.D., Principal, University of Edinburgh; Rev. 

1 In all cases where the word "trustee" is used it refers to the trustees for 
educational purposes under John Owens's will. 


Fra. Sadlier, Provost, Trinity College, Dublin ; Rev. 
Wm. Bruce, M.A., Royal Academical Institute, Belfast; 
Rev. E. C. Coleridge, Eton ; Rev. C. T. Vaughan, 
Head Master, Harrow; Rev. D. Dewar, LL.D., 
Marischal College, Aberdeen. The following replied: 
Dr. Jelf, Dr. Jack, Dr. Dewar, and Rev. W. Bruce. 
Valuable assistance was given by Professor Maiden ; 
Professor Graham, University College, London; Dr. 
HibbertWare; Dr. Vaughan, Lancashire Independent 
College ; the Bishop of Manchester; and others. 

The trustees appear to have sought advice from the 
Scotch universities, because the commissioners appointed 
to visit those institutions in 1831 had stated that there 
young men not necessarily intended for the learned 
professions could carry their education farther than at 
the schools before they engaged in the pursuit of trade 
or commerce, and that all persons might attend any of 
the classes, in whatever manner might suit their different 
views and prospects. The committee thought these 
suggestions, with what they obtained from London and 
Durham, were most valuable to them in framing their 
intended plan. They proceeded, at some length, to 
state their views in favour of a classical course, citing 
Dr. Whewell in support; and they gave good reasons 
for recommending the inclusion in any curriculum the 
study of mathematics, natural philosophy, logic, mental 
philosophy, general grammar, English language and 
literature, history, moral and political philosophy, 
natural history, chemistry, modern languages, and 
commercial studies (including bookkeeping, geography 
of commercial products, history and progress of arts 
and manufactures, and the general principles of com- 
mercial jurisprudence). 

In the present position of the college these recom- 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1850-1. 123 

mendations may seem sufficiently commonplace, but at 
the time they were made it needed no little boldness to 
suggest them, and great courage to persevere with 
them when, in course of time, failure seemed imminent. 
All previous attempts at such liberality had failed, and 
it required many years to teach the mercantile classes 
that the higher education "would pay " commercially 
as well as intellectually. 

On the very delicate subject of religious instruction 
the committee state: " To this we have devoted the 
attention due to it, as well as on account of the con- 
sideration which the testator appears to have bestowed 
upon it, and we recommend that religious instruction 
shall be provided for all the students as well regular as 
occasional who may desire to avail themselves of it, and 
shall be given by the principal or one of the other pro- 
fessors without any extra fees. The attendance must 
we think be optional. To make it compulsory would 
probably involve either the violation of one of the 
testator's fundamental conditions or the necessity of 
limiting the professor's instructions in a manner ob- 
noxious to him and detrimental to his teaching, and 
might tend to foster a spirit of captious objection on 
the part of the students so compelled to attend. We 
cite with pleasure on this subject the opinion expressed 
by Dr. Maiden: 'I expect that the trustees will find 
that their best plan will be to provide a regular course 
of instruction, but to leave the attendance upon it op- 
tional even for their regular students. If they can find 
a learned and able teacher, who shall at the same time 
be a devout man and of a large mind, tolerant judgment, 
and amiable temper, and if the attendance upon his 
theological and religious teaching shall be only optional, 
I believe that most of the regular students will attend 


it.' In these views we fully join, and entertain no doubt 
that in the manner proposed such religious instruction 
may be conveyed as may elevate and strengthen the 
moral and religious character of the students without 
encroaching on the liberty of conscience, which the 
testator has so anxiously sought to protect." 

The committee desired it to be understood that the 
scheme they recommended should be regarded as ex- 
perimental, so that after an adequate trial it might be 
modified in a greater or less degree; that it should be 
made as general as possible, so as to be able to conform 
it to what experience might prove to be desirable. 

On the iyth December, 1849, the educational report 
(dated, when issued to the public, March 2nd, 1850) 
was considered and adopted, and it was resolved to 
obtain proposals from gentlemen willing to undertake 
the following offices in the college, viz.: Professors of 
the language and literature of Greece and Rome, of 
mathematics and natural philosophy, of mental and 
moral philosophy, and of English language and litera- 
ture. And in selecting from the candidates regard 
was ,to be had for one who would be suitable to act as 

Meanwhile trouble met them. A doubt arose, 
through the queries of Canon Richson, whether the 
institution was not a charity, and if so whether fees 
could be legally exacted from the students, and if they 
could, whether the whole of them ought not to go to 
the professors ? This was an important question at the 
outset, as the foundation, noble though it was, did not 
yield more than sufficient to pay the salaries of a 
modest staff of professors and the current expenses. 
If the whole income was to go to the tutorial body, how 
was the institution to be kept up ? 

i,, H| n 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1850-1. 125 

The opinion of counsel was taken and. the following 
answer returned : " We are clearly of opinion that the 
trustees are not precluded by the terms of the will from 
requiring the payment of fees from the students who 
propose attending the institution, and we think that 
those fees may be required and may be applied by the 
trustees at their discretion either in or towards payment 
of the professors or masters, or in providing exhibitions 
or giving prizes, or generally for the purposes of the 
institution. J. G. Teed, Richard Malins. Lincoln's 
Inn, 2Oth August, 1849." 

The trustees having advanced so far with their 
scheme appointed a building committee to look out for 
suitable premises for the college, and on their report in 
favour of the house and premises belonging to Mr. 
Richard Cobden, M.P,, and lately occupied by him, 
authorised them to conclude a lease for seven years at 
an annual rental of ^200, with such provision for the 
alteration and adaptation of the premises as they might 
think fit ; with power to extend the lease to fourteen 
years if Mr. Cobden was agreeable thereto. The 
settlement of this is narrated in the biographical sketch 
of Mr. Faulkner. 

In their report on the " General character and plan 
of the college," the trustees laid emphasis upon the 
desirability of establishing a course of religious instruc- 
tion, subject to a " conscience clause." A very strong 
feeling was created in the town. The ^Manchester 
Guardian, in referring to the deputation that was to 
wait upon the trustees on the subject, said : "We hope 
the trustees will be induced, on calm reconsideration of 
the question, to abandon the untenable ground which 

'6th April, 1850. 


in good faith, doubtless, but unwisely, as we think, they 
have taken up." The Manchester Examiner and Times 
had no fewer than seven articles which were reprinted 
and distributed as a handbill ; it spoke more forcibly, 
and after asserting that the paragraph in the trustees' 
report was at variance with the express conditions of 
the testator's will, asked: "Are the professors expected 
to be of the Talleyrand stamp men qualified to teach 
religion without declaring their religious opinions?" 
And in conclusion it inquired, " Have the trustees of 
this noble, because unsectarian, college given in their 
adhesion to a principle which, if it durst be expressed 
in words, means really this that every extension of 
secular knowledge is verily an evil, unless counteracted 
by a proportionable infusion of theological teaching ?" 

On the 8th April, 1850, Mr. Faulkner produced a 
letter addressed to him as chairman of the trustees by 
Mr. Thomas Bazley, 1 on behalf of a meeting of 
gentlemen of various religious denominations held at 
the Albion Hotel, Manchester, " to consider whether 
the proposed religious teaching in the Owens College 
be in accordance with the will and intention of its 
founder?" and proposing an interview between a 
deputation of that meeting and the trustees. 

The meeting was held on April I3th, the deputation 
consisting of Messrs. Bazley, 1 Munro, 2 J. J. Tayler, 3 
Schwabe, 4 W. R. Wood, 5 and Dr. Halley. 6 The chair- 
man (Mr. Faulkner) said: " The trustees have, in con- 

1 After wards Sir T. Bazley, Bart., M.P. 

2 Rev. Dr. Munro, of the Scotch Church. 

3 Rev. J. J. Tayler, of the Unitarian Chapel, Upper Brook Street. 
Mr. Sails Schwabe, a very benevolent gentleman; a calico printer. 

4 Mr. William Rayner Wood. 

Congregational minister of Cavendish Street Chapel, and afterwards prin- 
cipal of New College, London. 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1850-1. 127 

sequence of a letter addressed to me by Mr. Bazley on 
the 6th inst., convened this meeting, being induced to 
do so by the individual respectability of the gentlemen 
named in the letter, though without any information 
what body they represent. It appears by Mr. Bazley's 
letter that the object of the deputation is to obtain such 
regulations as they consider will be satisfactory to the 
public. The trustees will be glad to hear the views of 
the deputation, and to receive, if the deputation think 
fit, a statement of the regulations which they propose, 
and their reasons for supposing that they would be 
satisfactory to the public. The trustees are not unaware 
of the grave importance of the subject, and did not 
arrive at their published conclusion without much con- 
sideration. They conceived that in an institution for 
education of a high character, there should be provided 
for those who desired it instruction separately from the 
ordinary course, on the evidences of Christianity, and 
on the foundations of natural and revealed religion. 
They were satisfied that these objects might be benefi- 
cially effected without a departure from the conditions 
of the testator's will. They were, however, prepared 
to give the fullest consideration to the views of the 
gentlemen who have waited upon them, and to the 
regulations which they may propose, whilst it would be 
the duty of the trustees, to whom the testator had 
thought fit to confide the carrying out of the general 
object of the trust, to decide according to the ultimate 
conclusions of their own judgment." 

The deputation then addressed the meeting, and 
stated their objections to that part of the proposed 
plan of the trustees which related to religious in- 

The trustees assured their visitors that their views 


should receive the fullest consideration. They after- 
wards determined to have a case prepared for counsel's 

On the 1 3th of May a deputation of Churchmen, 
consisting of the Dean of Manchester, 1 Canon Wray, 
Revs. M'Grath and King, waited upon the trustees to 
express their opinions in favour of the trustees' views. 2 
Counsel's opinion was read to them, and at a later 
period of the meeting it was resolved to send a copy of 
the " case " and the counsel's reply to Mr. Bazley, in 
addition to the minute " that he be informed that the 
trustees having fully considered the arguments offered 
to them are not prepared to depart from the views 
expressed in the report as approved by them." 

It does not appear clear from the minutes that this 
resolution was sent, for at the meeting held on the 2oth 
May a similar resolution was moved and an amendment 
was made and carried: "That the trustees (having fully 
considered the arguments offered by the deputation of 
which he Mr. Bazley was the chairman) are of 
opinion that they have consulted the best interests of 
the college by providing for a general course of religious 
instruction, to be conducted in strict conformity with the 

1 Dr. Bowers. 

2 The minutes do not record what these gentlemen said, but the Examiner's 
pamphlet says : "A single passage in the memorial of the deans, canons, &c., of 
Manchester (ex unguld Diabolum), betrays the spirit of the authors. ' We cannot 
all say that we had knowledge of Mr. Owens personally; but we are well 
acquainted with some who knew him intimately, and we have collected from them 
that the tone of Mr. Owens's mind was religious (of which no further proof is 
needed than is afforded by the fact of bequeathing his property to the public for 
benevolent purposes, instead of devoting it to private uses '). A religious man must 
wish theology to be taught ; a man who leaves money for a charitable purpose 
must be a religious man; but Mr. Owens left money for a charitable purpose, 
therefore he was a religious man ; therefore he wished theology to be taught ! 
Thus do the canons of Manchester tamper with the canons of logic !" Theology 
in Owens College^ p. 6, note. 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1850-1. 129 

will of the founder, not partaking of a sectarian charac- 
ter, and therefore adapted to students of different 
religious denominations, and whose attendance will be 
optional and without charge." A copy of the " case " 
and " opinion " was also sent to the dean. 

In the "case" the trustees stated what their chair- 
man had declared to Mr. Bazley, and they candidly 
added that " the recommendation of such provision for 
religious instruction has given rise to considerable 
observation. It has been questioned whether religious 
instruction comes within the testator's general object as 
expressed in the words ' instructing and improving 
young persons of the male sex in such branches of 
learning and science as are now and may be hereafter 
usually taught in the English universities.'" Then 
followed a statement of subjects which it was necessary 
to study in order to take the B.A. degree at Oxford 
and Cambridge; and to pass the three years' examina- 
tion at Durham: at London University graduates must 
have taken their B.A. before any religious examination 
was held. Counsel was therefore asked : 

(1) Whether, under the terms and conditions of the 
testator's will, the trustees were justified in making any 
provision in the intended college for religious instruc- 
tion of the students ; and 

(2) Whether the plan of religious instruction recom- 
mended by the committee was such as the trustees could 
adopt and carry out in accordance with the terms and 
conditions of the testator's will ? 

Mr. Teed was of opinion that the effect of the second 
rule made by the testator for the government of his 
charity was not to except religion from the branches of 
learning, which, being taught in the English universi- 
ties, were to be taught in his institution. Mr. Malins 


went more into detail, but his conclusion was similar to 
that of his colleague. 

In all this there was great cry and little wool. The 
"religious instruction" which the trustees provided 
was a class for the study of the Greek New Testa- 
ment, the Hebrew of the Old Testament (with a 
Jewish professor), and a course of lectures by the prin- 
cipal on The Influence of Religion in relation to the 
Life of the Scholar. These lectures were open free to 
the public as well as to the students. 

The syllabus of three courses of these lectures, 
delivered by Mr. Scott, may be given to indicate their 



On the connection of the laws of thought with the religious life. 
i. Indication of the subject and purpose of the course. 
2-3. That there are laws of thought. Investigation of the 
philosophic schools for determining them. 

4. The religious life considered in itself. 

5. That the laws of thought have a bearing on the religious life. 

6. Views of the schools on this point. 

7. Determination of the bearing of the laws of thought on the 
religious life. 

8. Harmony of the intellectual, spiritual, and practical life. 


Relations of religion to the life of the scholar. 

1. Introductory. 

2. St. Augustine, A.D. 430. 

3. Caedmon 608. 

4. Bede 735- 

5. Alfred 901. 

6. Anselm 1109. 


1. Philosophy of volition. 

2. Philosophy of moral or responsible action. 

3. Philosophy of intelligence animal and human, 

4. Dependence of intellectual on moral powers. 

5. Moral and spiritual conditions of social progress. 

6. Application to our age. 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1850-1. 131 

The decision of the trustees was not without effect 
in one important case. The Manchester New College, 
which had been established by the English Presbyterian 
(now Unitarian) body, educated young men for the 
ministry and for secular callings. They always had a 
staff of eminent men as their professors. No theological 
tests were required of teachers or taught ; the work they 
did was admirable, but unfortunately the numbers who 
availed themselves of such excellent instruction were 
small. In 1853 there were only seven divinity and four 
lay students. The decreasing number of students was 
a cause of much anxiety to the governors; but in their 
report for 1847 they congratulate their supporters on 
the prospect of the establishment of the Owens College, 
" not merely as a public recognition of the great prin- 
ciple that education should not be fettered by a religious 
test, but as affording the prospect of the establishment 
of an institution in Manchester, to which the students 
of the college may perhaps hereafter resort, to receive 
at least a portion of their literary and scientific in- 

For three years the governors debated whether they 
should attach themselves to Owens College or to 
University College, London. In December, 1851, they 
held a special meeting of their trustees on the subject, 
when a report on Owens College was presented. The 
committee called attention to the provision in the 
founder's will for religious freedom, and alluded to the 
religious instruction which had been provided, but they 
felt bound to state that the trustees " had hitherto given 
no reason to excite the apprehensions which were at 
first entertained." 

A year later they had come to the conclusion to 
affiliate the Manchester New College with University 


College, London. The decision was strongly opposed 
by Mr. W. Rayner Wood, and it came before the 
Master of the Rolls 1 for hearing on February 28th, 
1853. The Solicitor General 2 appeared for the trus- 
tees, and made a strong point against union with Owens 
College and in favour of University College, stating 
that the trustees of Owens College were intent upon 
giving religious instruction: "But if," said he, "there 
is to be religious instruction open to the young men 
provided for them in Owens College, there is no security 
that that would be according to the peculiar tenets of 
our body of Dissenters : 3 and then, what are we to think 
of young men being sent to Manchester New College 
for the purpose of being educated in a certain set of 
religious principles, and then left at liberty to go to 
another institution where they would probably fall in 
with persons pursuing a different mode of religious in- 
struction, and the managing body of which institution 
would feel it a conscientious obligation to attract as 
many young men as possible; and therefore that is one 
reason why University College, where there is nothing 
of that sort provided as part of the institution of the 
college itself, has been preferred." 4 The Master of 
the Rolls confirmed the decision of the Manchester New 
College Governors. 

On the 22nd October, 1850, Mr. A. J. Scott, M.A., 
Professor of English Literature in University College, 
London, was appointed Principal of the College, and 
Professor of Logic, Mental, and Moral Philosophy, and 
English Language and Literature. On the iQth 
November Mr. J. G. Greenwood, B.A., was appointed 

1 Sir John Romilly. 

8 Sir Richard Bethell, afterwards Lord Westbury. s Unitarian. 

4 Report of Proceedings in Chancery on the removal of Manchester New College 
io London, p. 26. 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1850-1. 133 

Professor of the Language and Literature of Greece and 
Rome, and of Ancient and Modern History ; and the 
same day Mr. Archibald Sandeman, M. A., was appointed 
Professor of Mathematics. The other appointments 
were : Mr. Edward Frankland, Ph.D., to the chair of 
Chemistry on the 2nd January, 1851 ; Mr. W. C. 
Williamson on the i6th of the same month, to the chair 
of Natural History, Botany, and Geology ; Mr. T. 
Theodores became teacher of German, Hebrew, and 
Oriental languages, and M. Podevin of French. 

On the 1 3th February the plans for a chemical 
laboratory and theatre, prepared by Messrs. Travis and 
M agnail, were submitted and approved, and they were 
instructed to obtain tenders ; Dr. Frankland meanwhile 
obtained apparatus and chemicals for the new building. 

The trustees resolved to open the college to students 
as near to the 3rd day of March (1851) as possible. It 
was also resolved to take steps forthwith, by petition 
to Her Majesty the Queen and otherwise as might be 
expedient, to obtain Her Majesty's warrant enabling 
the college to grant certificates qualifying students for 
examination for degrees at London University. This 
was granted May 29th, 1851. 

The legality of using any part of the estate for build- 
ing a chemical laboratory was discussed by the trustees, 
and it was thought best to try to raise a fund by. 
subscription for this purpose. It was resolved that 
each of the trustees should render his services to obtain 
the money. They had the gratification of collecting 
from one hundred and eighteen subscribers the sum of 
^9,550. i os. for the erection and fitting up of a chemical 
laboratory, the formation of a library, and for general 
purposes. 1 

1 See Appendix iii. 


The time had now come for the formal opening of 
the college. A public meeting was held at the Town 
Hall, Manchester, on the i2th March, 1851, Sir John 
Potter, the mayor, presiding. The principal was 
unfortunately too ill to attend, and the delivery of his 
address had to be postponed. Professor Greenwood 
took his place, and delivered an address " On the 
languages and literature of Greece and Rome." He 
said that education is not a mere preparation for some 
specific trade or profession, but rather a preparation for 
the whole business of life a preparation that shall fit 
the student to fill well his part as a member of a family, 
of a commercial or professional community, of society 
generally, and of the state. A college cannot fit young 
men to enter upon their several professions, but it can 
develop, in their due proportion, all the functions of the 
man, to enable him to acquire the knowledge specially 
necessary for his pursuits, but yet to guard him against 
the danger of having his whole mind absorbed by 
those pursuits. The aim of a liberal education is to 
discipline the reason, the understanding, and the taste, 
and so to strengthen the various powers of the mind 
that the student when he has acquired them may use 
them most worthily for himself, and most beneficially 
for the whole community. If this is so, language must 
hold an important place in education, as it is the 
medium of intercourse between man and man. The 
languages of Greece and Rome are especially valuable 
because they are more elaborate in their processes of 
etymology and syntax, expressing by copious and 
multiform inflexion and composition what the languages 
of modern Europe express by mere juxtaposition of 
independent words. Then their literature is so precious. 
I f the ancient languages are not likely to be of practical 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1850-1. 135 

use to the student in after life, the more desirable it is 
he should cultivate them, so that amidst his own 
engrossing cares he may be allured to converse with the 
great minds of other times and countries. 

Professor Sandeman claimed a general agreement as 
to the great value of mathematics. To know his 
position in the world, and to work out the duties arising 
from that position, is the great object, said he, of man's 
life, and to prepare and train him with reference to this 
object is the aim of all education. 

1 It is impossible to estimate too highly the importance 
of a study which tends to generate habits of close 
attention, strict reasoning, and laborious inquiry viewing 
it merely in the light of drilling and preparing us for 
weighing justly, throughout our lives, the various 
matters that may arise for our consideration. In as far 
as mental culture can be obtained from the practice of 
deriving true results, by the necessary processes of 
reasoning, from simple and unquestionable principles, 
few studies, if any, present equal advantages with the 
study of mathematics. 

Mr. Williamson's address was on the study of natural 
history, with its refreshing researches into the multi- 
farious forms of nature's works. 

Dr. Frankland spoke of " The Educational and 
Commercial Utility of Chemistry." 

The public meeting was well attended and very 

On the 1 7th June, a deputation from the Lancashire 
Independent College, consisting of the Revs. Dr. 

1 Thus Sir J. F. Herschel : "A sound and sufficient knowledge of mathematics, 
the great instrument of all exact inquiry, without which no man can ever make 
such advances in astronomy or any other of the higher departments of science as 
can entitle him to form an independent opinion on any subject of discussion 
within their range." Astronomy, p. 5. 


Vaughan, J. L. Poore, and Richard Fletcher, waited 
upon the trustees, and stated that it was the wish of 
the committee of their college that their classical 
students should attend the classical lectures of Owens 
College. A conversation followed in which several 
points were discussed and left for the consideration of 
the trustees ; particularly it was suggested that as the 
students of the Lancashire College had only two years 
to attend to classical studies, more time should be given 
to their instruction than was allowed to classical studies 
by the present arrangement of Owens College ; that a 
third class for higher reading should be formed for the 
extra instruction of those who might require it, in addi- 
tion to attending the ordinary classes. The substance 
of the conversation with the deputation was stated to 
Professor Greenwood, and he was requested to take the 
subject into consideration. 

Principal Scott, alluding to this in his report at the 
close of the session, said : " If a considerable proportion 
of those who were designed for professional life should 
ever come to prefer Owens College for general educa 
tion, it must be the result of a confidence acquired by 
degrees. By one expression of such confidence we 
have been already gratified, in the attendance on our 
classical courses of a considerable number of students 
from Lancashire Independent College, with the sanction 
of its authorities ; and not less, by our having reason 
to believe that this trust is not found to have been 

The connection lasted for five years, when the 
students were withdrawn Principal Scott, in alluding 
to this, said:' "This resolution, justified by obvious 

1 Annual Report, p. vii., 2nd July, 1856. 



and, no doubt, sufficient considerations, is softened to 
us by strong testimony from the authorities, and from 
the students, to the efficiency of the tuition of our 
classical professor. To our numbers this will be a 
loss not insensible. But we lose much more in the 
countenance of that college, with its distinguished head 
and professors ; and in the presence of an order of 
students who have ever been among the most zealous 
and intelligent, and who have attained a large share of 
the honours we have to bestow." This withdrawal was 
owing to a change in the professorial staff at Lancashire 
College, Mr. T. D. Hall, M. A., 'having been appointed 
classical professor. On Mr. Hall's retirement in 1867 
the students were again sent to Owens College, where 
they still attend for their arts course. 

The closing meeting of the first term was held at the 
college July 4th, 1851. The report stated that the 
session had been very brief less than three months. 
Twenty-five students had been entered, a number which 
might be regarded as most satisfactory, if the fact that 
this was their first session and the late period at which 
it was opened was duly considered. 

It was reported that the new building for the chemical 
laboratory was in a satisfactory state of progress; a 
house in St. John's Street had been hired as a tempo- 
rary laboratory for the students in chemistry. 

1 Co-worker with Dr. William Smith in Smith.' 's Latin Grammar and Smith's 
Latin Dictionary. 



' ' For though there be not many in every city which be exempt and discharged 
of all other labours, and appointed only to learning that is to say, such in whom, 
even from their very childhood, they have perceived a singular towardness, a fine 
wit, and a mind apt to good learning yet all in their childhood be instructed in 
learning." Sir T. MORE, Utopia, ch. vii. 

' I ^HE second, or first complete session, was opened 
by a public meeting, October 6th, 1851, under 
the presidency of the mayor, Sir John Potter. 

Principal A. J. Scott, M.A., delivered his inaugural 
address, which he had been prevented giving, through 
illness, at the opening of the college. The subject was 
" The character and worth of a university education." 
He said : The foundation in itself of the college, the 
zealous discharge of the preliminary duties of its admi- 
nistration, the discussion of questions relating to the 
system to be pursued in it, were all of them indications 
of the interest which had been excited by the new effort 
to introduce into the city the means of acquiring 
academic scholarship, and were proofs that a want was 
acknowledged for which a university education was felt 
to be the appropriate supply. Universities had been 
adapted for the most part to meet the wants of a parti- 
cular class of students, especially in the middle ages ; 
but this was not universal, and in the main general 
culture was afforded. Mr. Scott pointed out the great 
value of general culture, both to the individual and to 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1851-7. 139 

his influence upon others. Its influence might be long 
in developing and making itself felt, but by the calcu- 
lations of a Kepler, the studies of Archimedes and 
Euclid, the Pythagorean and Platonic schools had their 
influence among us in their practical utility no less 
than in their theoretic calculations. It was the pulse 
of Watt's brain that throbbed in all the engines, it 
was the great assemblage of speculative spirits which 
wielded as its instrument the myriads of arms, and tools, 
and machines that stirred around them. The men who 
in the very nature of things could never be appreciated, 
could never be hired, were the men who did the most 
even of that work which the world is readiest to value 
and remunerate. Things can be good in but two ways, 
as means or as an end ; good for something else, or good 
for itself. Usefulness is the attribute of means, not of 
ends, and there must be a value above usefulness as ends 
are above means. There could be no usefulness if 
there were no other good than usefulness, means would 
have no value were there no ends worth seeking for 
their own sake ; and useful knowledge was not neces- 
sarily the highest kind of knowledge, nor usefulness its 
highest quality. The man of science, of literature, of 
philosophy, stood not upon the usefulness of his pursuit, 
but upon its intrinsic worth and nobleness. His main 
business was with the good that is in it, not with the 
good that it is for. Because, then, scholarship nourished 
all the arts of life, to which it was as the hidden mois- 
ture of the ground is to the produce of their fields ; 
because it brought the mind in free contact with one of 
its higher appropriate good influences, because it was 
the nutrition and development of faculties in man, 
without whose exercise he is less and lower than he 
ought to be ; therefore, it was well that countenance 


should be given by society to that higher scholarship 
which is the object of university education. A college 
was originally a provision for study and contemplation. 
He who learned from one occupied in learning drank of 
a running stream. He who learned from one who had 
learned all he had to teach drank " the green mantle of 
the stagnant pool." Where the highest style of formal 
instruction was to be formally provided for, it followed 
that it should be confided to those who were to dedicate 
themselves to the mastery and advancement of their 
several branches of knowledge. That was the defini- 
tion of the professor as distinguished from the minister 
of earlier education. In concluding his address, Mr. 
Scott said that he had tried to set forth the inestimable 
service of that higher knowledge of which colleges are 
the destined conservators ; the dependence of those 
services on the free pursuit of knowledge, unfettered by 
considerations of immediate applications to use : the 
intrinsic worth of study, apart from all its utility. 

The meeting was addressed by the Rev. Dr. Vaughan, 
Rev. Dr. H alley, Rev. J. J. Tayler, and the Bishop of 
Manchester; to whom the trustees subsequently sent 
" their best thanks for the very gratifying manner in 
which they complied with the request of the trustees in 
addressing the meeting." 

The concluding introductory lectures were delivered 
at the college on 27th October, by Mr. Theodores, on 
the study of German, and by M. Podevin, on the study 
of the French language. 

Mr. George Mattinson, formerly clerk to John Owens, 
who had provisionally performed the duties of librarian 
and clerk, under the direction and to the entire satis- 
faction of the chairman of trustees, was formally ap- 
pointed to the office, dating from December 25th, 1851. 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1851-7. 141 

On April 22nd, 1852, a deed of gift and declaration 
of trusts was produced to meet the objections of the 
Mortmain Act, as part of the fund was to be expended 
on real estate, and it was doubted whether Owens's 
bequest was available for this purpose. The amount 
raised by subscriptions was ,9,550. ios. x 

With the close of the first full session the professors 
had gained sufficient experience to make known the 
defects in the college system. Sixty-two students had 
attended some of the various classes, a number exceeded 
only by King's and University Colleges, out of all the 
colleges, not schools, affiliated to London University. 
The conduct of the students had been good, their 
diligence commendable, and the attainments of some of 
them very creditable. But there was something sadly 
lacking if the college was to be successful as an in- 
stitution for the higher education. Professors Scott, 
Greenwood, and Sandeman embodied their views on 
the subject in a report which was presented to the trus- 
tees June 28th, 1852. They found, in plain terms, the 
school education of Manchester was so bad, not only in 
classics, but in mathematics and English literature, that 
the students were insufficiently prepared to receive the 
benefits of true collegiate training. What was to be 
done under these conditions ? 

" The utility of our institution," said Mr. Scott, " is 
to depend on its adaptation, not only to the previous 
knowledge of the students, but to their habits of study. 
These must be the result of training. If the students 
can work only under the eye of the professor he becomes 
a schoolmaster, and the whole plan must be arranged 
accordingly ; and must be essentially different from that 
recommended by the educational committee of the 

1 See Appendix iii. 


trustees: or else he does not demand work of the 
students and becomes a mere popular lecturer. Now 
we have found so great a deficiency here as has affected 
the teaching of each of us. In some classes much 
time has unavoidably been spent on what ought to 
have been done at home; in others the advantage of 
particular methods of instruction has been almost 
renounced as requiring for their application habits 
which had not been formed at school." Not only must 
the curriculum be good in itself, there must be an 
adequate preparation for it. 

Certain suggestions were made about the length of 
attendance at college before matriculation and the 
examination for the B.A. degree. The professors did 
not desire to make any great change in the formal 
arrangements for the next session, but they proposed to 
make steadily increasing demands in the entrance exami- 
nations, and to go on modifying the manner of instruc- 
tion according to the wants of the students. "Our aim," 
they said, " will be to ascertain experimentally what 
system promises to this part of the country the maximum 
of such benefits as a college ought to confer." 

This was a very important resolution, and in the 
coming darker days when the numbers fell off greatly, 
and temptations were offered to convert the college 
into a mere training school, it required much courage 
to adhere to the high standard here set up. Happily 
this determination was kept, and a long exercise of 
patience and perseverance led to a happy result, the 
attendance ultimately increased steadily, the entrance 
examinations were maintained at their comparatively 
high standard, and the college literally pulled up the 
schools to a much more thorough training both as to 
discipline and teaching. 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1851-7. 143 

Meanwhile the professors were fully alive to the 
danger they ran. In the report read by the principal 
at the annual meeting, held July 2nd, 1852, he 
called the attention of parents and teachers to the 
absolute dependence of the college on the earlier 
education for a supply of materials. u It is evident," 
said Mr. Scott, " that you can have no college, unless 
you have schools which actually do prepare for college. 
Should we fix a standard which the schools afforded no 
means of attaining, we might close our doors. Should 
we directly undertake the higher school education, we 
should rather compete with the schools than fulfil the 
proper destination of a college." 

The following year marked a distinct advance in the 
college. The schoolmasters of the National, British, 
and like public schools desired to avail themselves of 
the high class teaching which Owens College afforded, 
and they wished to attend classes in mathematics and 

The trustees fully approved of the movement, and 
resolved that, for schoolmasters only, the fee for the 
two courses classics and mathematics should be one 
guinea, nothing being paid to the college. In recom- 
mending the formation of the classes to the trustees, 
Principal Scott stated that "it was only after he had 
assured himself that a single lecture weekly did not 
appear to Mr. Greenwood an excessive addition to his 
duties, that a meeting was held between Professors 
Sande'man, Greenwood, and himself on the one part, 
and a numerous meeting of schoolmasters on the other. 
It was found that for this session two evening courses 
of fifteen lectures each, one course in Latin and one in 
mathematics, would be highly acceptable to about 
thirty masters, and promised to be useful." 


In the spring of 1853 the trustees had the gratifica- 
tion of receiving two sums of ^500 each, for the 
endowment of two scholarships in memory of the 
Queen's visit to Manchester in 1851. The first gift 
was made by Mr. Samuel Fletcher, who desired it to 
be called the Victoria Scholarship. The second item 
was the gift of Mr. George Faulkner, the chairman of 
the trustees, to found a scholarship for proficiency in 
the study of the text of the Greek New Testament. 
The exhibition was to be called the Wellington Scholar- 
ship, in memory of the illustrious duke who accom- 
panied Her Majesty. These gifts were most acceptable, 
and deserve especial notice, as they were the first of a 
long series of valuable gifts and bequests which have 
been made to the college from time to time. It is to 
be hoped that such " windfalls" may continue to be 
made. If the college is to grow, and to do the work 
which it ought, it must be refreshed by similar manifes- 
tations of individual and public benevolence. There is 
a danger of the public forming the erroneous opinion 
that the college is rich and needs no further help. Such 
an impression would be as mischievous as incorrect. 
There is still room for very wide expansion before the 
college is fully equipped either as to teaching staff, 
buildings, or endowments ; and the expenses of main- 
tenance, which will increase with the growth of the 
college, promises to lead to serious embarrassment. 

The trustees, and in later days the extension com- 
mittee, have from time to time urged upon the Govern- 
ment the claims of Owens College for pecuniary support. 
The subject will come up prominently later on. So 
early as November, 1852, Alderman Neild moved that 
application be made to Her Majesty's Government, 
urging the propriety of a grant out of the public funds, 

COLLEGE HISTOR Y, 1851-7. 145 

in aid of the objects of the college, and that it be 
referred to the educational committee to consider and 
determine on the mode in which the application should 
be made, and to prepare a memorial to the Government. 
This was the ten months' administration of Lord Derby, 
with Mr. Disraeli at the Exchequer. The application 
was held in abeyance in consequence of a change of 
ministers; but in July, 1853, a memorial was prepared, 
and entrusted to Messrs. Faulkner, Fletcher, Neild, 
Foster, and Philips, with Mr. James Heywood, M.P., 
to present it. The Earl of Aberdeen had taken office 
on December 28th, 1852, with Mr. Gladstone at the 
Exchequer. On July 25th, 1853, Mr. Faulkner re- 
ported, on behalf of the deputation, the interview they 
had had with Lords Aberdeen, Granville, and John 
Russell about a Government grant. It was the old 
story. Their lordships gave the deputation a very cour- 
teous reception, and received with great attention the 
statements made by them; they fully recognised the 
importance of the application, and promised that it 
should receive the most careful consideration of Her 
Majesty's Government. And there it ended ! 

On the 1 5th November, 1853, Mr. J. H. Nicholson 
was appointed clerk and librarian. On the same day it 
was determined to appoint a professor of history, and 
Mr. Richard Copley Christie, M.A., was selected a 
month later to fill the chair. 

In his December report to the trustees, Mr. Scott 
had the satisfaction of stating " the very great improve- 
ment in the preparation of the new students." He 
thought it proved that, in combination with other cir- 
cumstances, Owens College had already exercised a 
highly beneficial influence on the earlier education of 
the neighbourhood. 


Reference has been made to the special classes for 
schoolmasters. 1 These were necessarily held in the 
evening to meet the convenience of those who attended ; 
but no evening class had yet been formed for ordinary 
students. A new departure was about to be made, and 
on January 4th, 1854, Principal Scott reported that 
Professor Williamson wished to give lectures in the 
evening on natural history. Mr. Scott commended the 
application as a good beginning in a right direction, as 
the benefits conferred by the institution would be 
limited if it were refused. The trustees approved of 
the proposal, as they did of one from Professor 
Christie for a course of evening lectures on history. 


Several friends of the college wished to associate 
the name of the illustrious chemist, Dr. Dalton, with 
the institution. A public subscription was set on 
foot, and a sum of money was raised, which enabled 
the trustees to found two Dalton scholarships in 
chemistry, two in mathematics, and one prize in natural 
history. The fund amounted to ,5,337. 2S. 6d., and 
consisted of: Subscriptions, ,4,987. 143. 6d.; 2 residue 
of old statue fund, .231. 2s. 2d.; interest transferred to 
principal, .118. 55. lod. It was thus appropriated: 
Cost of monument over the grave of Dalton in Ardwick 
Cemetery, 262. 2s. 6d.; bronze statue in front of the 
Royal Infirmary, .950; endowment of scholarships at 
Owens College, ,4,125. 

On the 4th April, 1854, a letter was read from Mr. 
Alfred Neild, the honorary secretary of the Dalton 

1 See p. 143. 

* This was for the beautiful marble statue by Chantrey, which now adorns the 
main entrance of the Town Hall, Manchester. 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1851-7. 147 

Memorial Fund; and in reference to it a resolution was 
subsequently passed: "That the trustees of Owens 
College accept with great satisfaction the munificent 
endowment for the proposed Dalton scholarships and 
prize offered to them by the committee for carrying out 
the Dalton testimonial upon the conditions expressed 
in the report accompanying Mr. Alfred Neild's letter: 
And they respectfully receive the recommendations ex- 
pressed in the same report in reference to the chemical 
scholarships, and direct that the same be entered on 
their minutes and be adopted and acted upon as 
nearly as may be found from time to time consistent 
with the objects of the foundation, and with the course 
of education and the interests of learning at Owens 

It was also resolved : " That it is highly gratifying 
to the trustees that so important a part of the Dalton 
testimonial should be placed in connection with the 
Owens College, and should be at once so appropriate a 
tribute to the memory of the distinguished individual 
whose name it records, and so well adapted to extend 
amongst the students of the college an earnest and 
honourable desire to emulate his character and achieve- 
ments. And the trustees tender their grateful thanks 
to the donors to whose liberality the Owens College is 
indebted for so valuable an accession to its means and 

Principal Scott, referring to the Dalton chemical 
scholarships in his annual report, 1 said they would prove 
the earnest purpose of the founders to give to experi- 
mental science that place as a branch of education to 
which it was entitled by its efficiency as a mental 

1 Report, June, 1854, p. iv. 


discipline, and not merely by its practical application : a 
plan not generally recognised hitherto by the conductors 
of the higher instruction in this country. 

It was determined to establish a chair of " Commer- 
cial Science," and in the following December Mr. 
Christie was appointed to that professorship, taking also 
political economy. In consequence of Mr. Faulkner's 
recent munificent gift of the land and buildings of the 
college, it was determined to associate his name with 
the chair, and henceforth to designate it "The Faulkner 
Professorship of Political Economy and Commercial 

To Mr. Christie's other duties were added (on 6th 
February, 1855) those of the professorship of juris- 

The annals state that in the spring of this year (1855) 
the students wished to adopt the gown and cap as an 
academic costume. The trustees informed them that 
the subject should be fully considered. Nothing came 
of the request, as doubtless the trustees thought that 
however picturesque and suitable such a costume might 
be in Oxford or Cambridge, it would look out of place 
in Deansgate and the disreputable streets leading out of 
that thoroughfare. 

In presenting his report to the trustees, shortly after 
the commencement of the session 1855-6, the principal 
stated that the total number of students attending the 
college was sixty-eight, of whom forty-one were day, 
and twenty-seven evening students. This was the 
smallest number in any session since the first. The 
technological chemistry and the logic classes were not 
held for want of students. Of the total number half 
attended the chemistry class, and thirteen the class of 
natural history. Mr. Scott, in referring to this, said : 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1851-7. 149 

" I have occasion to remark the rising reputation of 
this course with men of science. It has already 
favourably affected the teaching of the medical schools 
of Manchester." Mr. Scott concluded by asking for 
a grant of ,40 to enable the professor to grow exotics 
in a stove for the use of the students. This was 
allowed, and a grant was continued for several years ; 
an annual payment was also voted to enable the 
materia medica students to visit the Botanic Gardens 
for study. 

It was resolved, at the instance of the principal, to 
establish a class of comparative grammar for school- 
masters after Christmas. Mr. Scott was also requested 
to arrange with Mr. Hammersley a plan for that 
gentleman to give lessons in drawing. This was not 
carried out, as the cost was found to be too heavy for 
the students. 

Early in 1856 a movement was set on foot which, 
although unsuccessful at the time, was full of interest : 
it was the first note sounded of a union of the medical 
schools with the college. 

On the 5th February, Mr. Aston read a letter 
addressed to the chairman, Mr. Faulkner, from Mr. 
George Southam, on behalf of the representatives of 
the medical schools, requesting a conference with a 
sub-committee of the trustees on the subject of a union 
with the college. The trustees expressed their pleasure 
and assured Mr. Southam they would be glad to hear 
his views on the subject. 

A meeting for conference was held on the i ith of the 
same month, when there were present : Mr. Faulkner 
(in the chair), Mr. Foster, Mr. Fletcher, and Mr. Neild, 
on behalf of the college ; Mr. Thomas Turner, Mr. 
Heath, Mr. Dumville, and Mr. Southam from the 


medical schools. Mr. Turner gave the views of the 
deputation on the proposed union, which union, he said, 
had been suggested by Sir James Kay Shuttleworth, 
Baronet. The trustees said the scheme was new to 
them, but they desired to give it their best considera- 
tion. After a full discussion between the trustees and 
the deputation, Mr. Turner proposed that the medical 
gentlemen should give in writing their views as to the 
principle and mode of a union, the government, locality, 
and the rooms required for the purposes of the medical 
school, the financial questions involved; and whether a 
general or only partial union would be required. This 
suggestion was approved and agreed to. 

The medical men proposed the following as the 
basis of an amalgamation : ist. That the trustees of 
the college provide for the medical department premises 
suitable for a lecture room, museum, dissecting room, 
and students' room, and an attendant to take charge of 
the same. The medical committee thought that the 
lecture room connected with the chemical laboratory 
was sufficiently commodious and well adapted for their 
purpose; the vacant land adjoining the laboratory would 
afford sufficient space for the other rooms mentioned. 
2nd. It was suggested by the medical committee that a 
reappropriation of the funds of the college should be 
effected within a reasonable period, and that until such 
reappropriation took place the medical professors should 
be entitled to the fees received from the medical 
students. 3rd. The medical department to be under 
the superintendence of a principal or dean to be 
appointed by the medical professors, who should be 
responsible to the trustees of the college. 

These propositions came to the trustees as a great 
surprise ; they regarded them with something like 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1851-7. 151 

amazement, as being so thoroughly one sided, and 
they scarcely concealed their feelings in their reply to 
Mr. Southam. There was in them a request for space, 
for power of administration, and for a large portion of 
the income of the college. 

The trustees resolved that whilst they recognised the 
importance of the question of connecting the medical 
schools with the college, and were desirous to meet it 
in the most friendly manner, the propositions submitted 
to them by the committee of the medical schools did 
not, in the opinion of the trustees, contain any condition 
tending to the advancement of general education, which 
was the main object of the college. 

This resolution must not be judged by the light of 
the present. The trustees had embarked on a very 
uncertain career. Hitherto their hopes had been raised 
that the day of small things was the introduction to 
great results. But already they seemed to have the 
shadow of failure thrown across their path. They had, 
with much courage and perseverance, and with noble 
generosity on the part of one of their number, done 
much to meet the pressing needs of the institution ; and 
the demands of the medical men seemed to them like a 
request for the surrender of half their property and much 
of their control. Time was needed to bring about a 
more satisfactory arrangement. 

The medical men lost no time in acknowledging the 
receipt of the resolution sent by the trustees, and in 
their reply said : " The medical committee deem it 
necessary to state that the propositions forwarded to 
the trustees of the college were drawn up in accordance 
with the expressed wishes of the trustees at a meeting 
held on February nth. The medical committee 
therefore had hoped that their propositions would have 


proved a basis for discussion at a future meeting or 
meetings of the conjoined committees, but they feel 
bound to interpret the reply of the trustees as putting 
an entire negative on all attempts to amalgamate the 
two institutions." 

The trustees replied to this at their next meeting by 
a resolution to the effect that the conclusion they had 
arrived at "did not in the opinion of the trustees bear 
the interpretation given to it by the committee ' of 
putting an entire negative on all attempts to amalga- 
mate the two institutions;' but the trustees considered 
that the particular propositions submitted to them by 
the committee did not offer any ground for discussion 
likely to be attended with satisfactory results." 

There the matter ended for several years. It appears 
from a report presented by Professor Greenwood two 
years later, that it was not only the difficulty of details 
which checked the movement, but also " the danger of 
introducing an element which without counterpoise 
might prove mischievous to the more general objects of 
the college." 

Early in the year (1856) the trustees gave their 
attention to the serious aspect of the college, and 
resolved: "That, under the circumstances of the pro- 
gressive diminutions in late sessions in the number of 
students attending the college and the further diminu- 
tion which will ensue on the proposed arrangements of 
the Independent College, the trustees are anxiously 
impressed with the importance of taking into earnest 
consideration the causes of such diminution and the 
general position and prospects of the college, with a 
view to such measures as may tend to elevate its prac- 
tical position and extend its utility in conformity with 
the views of the founder," 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1851-7. 153 

The principal and professors were requested to assist 
the trustees with their suggestions towards the objects, 
and a special meeting was fixed to which they were 
invited to attend. The subject was of great importance. 
The falling off had been largely in the most important 
division the ordinary classes. The numbers were as 
under : 

Total. Ordinary. Schoolmasters. Evening. 
1851-2 ... 62 ... 62 ... ... 

1852-3 ... 99 ... 71 ... 28 ... 

1853-4 ... 144 ... 71 ... 18 ... 55 

1854-5 ... 127 ... 58 ... 23 ... 46 

1855-6 ... 117 ... 52 ... 36 ... 29 

For the sake of comparison the table is continued : 

1856-7 ... 154 ... 33 33 88 

1857-8 ... 93 ... 34 ... 24 ... 35 

1858-9 ... 147 ... 40 ... ... 107 

1859-60 ... 134 ... 57 ... ... 77 

1860-1 ... 161 ... 69 ... ... 92 1 

The following is an abstract of the reports of the 
principal and professors. 2 Principal Scott said the 
trustees in their scheme of education had interpreted 
the will of the founder to be that of a university not 
of a school, of a general not of a professional character. 
An Oxford or Cambridge model demanded eight or 
ten years at school, and three or four years at college. 
The people of Manchester would not give the time for 
such a training : the cost of it would deter others. No 
express preparatory training for Owens College existed. 
The scheme adopted offered the higher general educa- 
tion required by certain professional men who could 
proceed to London University for degrees. Owens 
College provided for this special demand, and it was to 

1 Ten day students also attended the evening classes in addition to this number. 
J Minutes of Proceedings of the Trustees for Ediicational Purposes, ii., pp. 37-57. 


be hoped for the more general demand of the manufac- 
turing and mercantile classes, as a taste for mental 
culture should be developed among them. The em- 
pirical formulas of engine making, navigation, dyeing, 
or printing were not to be substituted for science and 
for scientific culture of the mind. If such a plan were 
steadfastly acted upon, it was evident from the first that 
the numbers must, for a time, be very limited. Pro- 
fessional students, not very numerous at Manchester, 
would probably go elsewhere for training ; another or 
non-professional class must therefore be the main hope 
of the institution ; but this would take time. People 
who knew Manchester well were not disappointed with 
the result, and, compared with the number of teachers 
and students at University College, London, he thought 
Owens had no cause for shame. Large numbers at 
first were not desirable. Many would find themselves 
unprepared to pass the entrance examination, and this 
would lead to resentment. It was apparent that the 
training at Owens was too high for the desires of the 
people ; the true remedy was to elevate the preparatory 
education to fit students for a subsequent college train- 
ing ; but this would take time. Owens College could 
not be compared with old institutions having an estab- 
lished usage and manifold rewards. The numbers at 
Owens would be satisfactory if they nearly coincided 
with the effective demand in Manchester for college 
education minus the number pre-engaged to other 
institutions. He therefore asked : Was it Owens 
College or Manchester which had disappointed the 
hopeful ones ? He thought some students had been* 
alarmed at the entrance examinations, and he pointed 
out that all the classes had suffered from diminished 
numbers, but those which required no preliminary 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1851-7. 155 

training least of all. He thought the duty of the 
trustees was to persevere till the value of the college 
became matter of experience, and a demand was created 
which did not then exist. The remedies he suggested 
were : i . A more specific curriculum, and therefore 
a more specific preparation ; with it an entrance 
examination. 2. The appointment of a college tutor, 
who should give private assistance to the students. 3. 
The appointment of a professor of natural philosophy. 
4. The establishment of an Owens College school for 
the special training of pupils for the college. 5. The 
establishment of a hall of residence, over which the 
college tutor might preside, to take students from a 
distance as boarders. He concluded with the reiterated 
hope that the trustees would continue to give Man- 
chester " a really college education whether at once 
appreciated or no." 

Professor Greenwood thought the adverse influences 
were : i. " The completely unsectarian character of the 
foundation a feature which, however worthy of respect, 
inevitably limited the area of the probable supporters 
of the college." 2. The limit of age was either too 
young or too old ; the present limit entailed too much 
school work. He thought it would have been better 
(had the founder's will allowed it) to have made it a 
school rather than a college, " taking a humbler name 
but doing a greater work ; adopting the newest and 
most scientific methods of teaching, and modelling the 
highest classes as college classes." The remedy sug- 
gested was the establishment of a junior school and a 
preliminary examination of students under sixteen years 
of age. The present system of an entrance examination 
had done much good in raising the standard of prepa- 
ration, but it had deterred older students from entering, 


A junior school would favour the establishment of 
settled courses of study at the college. 

Professor Sandeman's report was very brief and 
very plain. He thought the fewness of the students 
arose "wholly from the prevailing ignorance of what a 
superior education really is, and from the consequent 
low value set on such an education in the community 
among whom the college was placed." His hope, 
evidently a very faint one, was "that the Manchester 
community might in time learn to appreciate at their 
true value the high ends which the college had in view." 

Professor Williamson gave many reasons. High 
education, he thought, was not considered by Man- 
chester people requisite for the acquisition of wealth, 
and the social position of wealthy uneducated men was 
but slightly affected. Manchester had no educational 
reputation at a distance ; it was known for its cotton. 
Some parents looked for social position, and sent their 
sons to Eton, Harrow, etc.; others desired modern 
languages, and preferred schools in Germany or France. 
The local schools were poor. The unsectarian nature 
of the college was a drawback to it with some, as 
was the want of identification with special professions. 
Absence of external symbolism in buildings and cos- 
tume, whereby the people were not constantly reminded 
of the evidence of the institution. The want of a 
junior school was felt, and the preliminary examination 
kept out older students. A hall of residence was 
needed, as was a better means of enforcing discipline. 
As no degrees could be given there was a want of 
stimulus to work, and there was also the cessation of 
the influence of novelty, and the direct effects of the 
burdens created by the recent Crimean war limited 
the people's resources available for education. 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1851.7. 157 

Professor Frankland thought the Manchester people 
did not desire the higher education; the excitement 
attendant upon the opening of the college had grown 
cold. He thought the training was too exclusively 
classical, and fitted for those only who sought a B.A. 
or M.A. degree. He thought a junior school was 
necessary to " correct the notoriously bad preparation 
of students entering the college;" it would also be a 
good feeder to the institution. Theoretical and applied 
science ought to be put upon an efficient footing in the 
college; it had done much good at King's College, and 
it would do well at Manchester; therefore there should 
be a chair of experimental physics. The proportion of 
medical students at other colleges was large, and it 
would be well to amalgamate the local medical schools 
with the college. The issue of diplomas to successful 
students would be an encouragement. Finally, there 
should be periodical meetings of the principal and 
professors, to discuss the internal management of the 

Professor Christie advocated the establishment of a 
preparatory school, and the adoption of a proper system 
of educational training, so that the isolated lectures of 
the present without any general system of training 
should cease. At present each professor taught what 
he liked, irrespective of the lectures of his colleagues, 
and each did what he liked and attended what lectures 
he preferred. He suggested that the students should 
be divided into regular and occasional students ; the 
former to go through a proper and regular course of 
study, the latter to select such lectures as they preferred. 
Diplomas of associateship should be given to those 
students who had gone through a regular course for 
three years; these associates might ultimately have 



some voice in the government of the college. Courses 
of study might be arranged for the several pursuits in 
the after life of the students. There should be com- 
bined action among the professors themselves, with 
monthly meetings for the discussion of college business. 
There should be some form of discipline during college 
hours ; there should also be provision for those students 
who wished to remain in the college for study. A hall 
of residence was desirable. There should be both 
external and internal examiners. Applied science 
should be more fully taught, for " there was no reason 
why the reputation of Owens College should not equal 
or even surpass that of any similar institution, and draw 
to it those who show the most taste and the most talent 
for those pursuits." Finally, a calendar should be issued 
annually, and the existence of the college should be 
made more generally known. 

There is no record of any immediate action having 
been taken by the trustees. The reports were read by 
their respective authors and were entered on the 
minutes. The course of this narrative will show that 
many of the suggestions were afterwards considered, 
and some of them adopted. The table demonstrates 
that the diminution of regular students was to continue 
for two years in a far greater ratio, to the serious alarm 
of the trustees. 

In looking back it may be possible to give sufficient 
reasons for this state of things. Nearly all similar 
institutions have been launched with considerable en- 
thusiasm and have then felt the chill of reaction. In 
Manchester the college had only fairly started when the 
Crimean war broke out, to be followed in 1857 by the 
Indian mutiny. With the suppression of that awful 
tragedy came great prosperity, and this may have been 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1851-7. 159 

one cause for the improvement in the numbers of 
1858-9. The Independent College sent a large, but 
fluctuating contingent, and their withdrawal in 1856-7 
was a serious loss. The numbers attending the natural 
history classes varied exceedingly. But behind all this 
were some grave deficiencies. The curriculum was in- 
complete and too much adapted to classical students, 
and Manchester people looked to their Grammar School 
first and to Oxford afterwards to supply that want. 
Chemistry made a fair start and kept up its numbers, 
and when the physics chair was added students came 
forward. The mathematical teaching was too abstruse 
for students so ill prepared. 

There were also strong prejudices to- contend with. 
The unsectarian nature of the teaching its great 
glory was dubbed " godless'" by some, whilst others 
thought the leaning of the trustees was too much the 
other way. The opinion still prevailed, and it is not 
yet extinct, that a highly-educated youth is spoiled for 
the routine work of the counting-house or the sale-room. 
The college itself was somewhat deficient in discipline, 
and there were no regular meetings of the professors to 
discuss the needs of the institution. This latter defect 
was speedily set right after the reports had been pre- 
sented, and henceforth "college meetings" (as these 
councils of the teaching staff were called) were held. 

The evening classes were further developed, and on 
January 5th, 1857, it was resolved that the suggestion 
made in Principal Scott's report of two additional 
evening courses to be delivered be approved of and 
carried into effect. One course of twelve lectures by 
the principal was to be on the history of English litera- 
ture ; the other of a like number, by Professor Christie, 
was to be on the constitutional and legal history of the 


reign of James I. and the earlier part of Charles I. 
The fee was to be ten shillings and sixpence for each 
course, and ladies were to be admitted. 

Mr. Scott also reported that his lectures on " Reli- 
gion in relation to the life of the scholar " had been well 
attended, and that ministers of various denominations 
were among his hearers. 

At their meeting on the 25th April, 1857, the trustees 
passed a resolution requesting the principal and pro- 
fessors to consider the expediency of a school being 
established in connection with the college, and to 
suggest the general nature and plan of such a school, 
and to report at an early date. 

The " college meeting" reported to the trustees their 
recommendation that the regulation relating to the 
entrance examinations be omitted from the prospectus 
in future, and that public attention be called to the 
change ; they also directed the attention of the trustees 
to the serious discouragement which the entrance fee 
occasioned to persons proposing to attend single courses 
of lectures. The entrance examination was relaxed, 
and the fee was reduced to seven shillings for each class 
attended, and was renewable year by year. 

Principal Scott, on behalf of himself and colleagues, 
reported that at a college meeting, held May 25th, 1857, 
the following recommendations respecting the plan of a 
school were passed : T i. Subjects taught. The instruc- 
tion given should embrace the subjects usually taught 
in English public schools, including so much of natural 
science as may be suited to the ages and capacities of 
the boys, choice being allowed to pupils of omitting 
Greek, or Greek and Latin, and giving their whole 

1 Minute Book, ii., pp. 147-9. 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1851-7. 161 

attention to other branches of study. 2. Staff of 
teachers. It was thought that the existing staff might 
be sufficient for special classes in the higher branches of 
classics, mathematics, and English literature, and in 
history and chemistry. It might be found practicable 
to combine the duties of head master with those of a 
professor in the college. With such aid, and with that 
of the teachers of modern languages, it would still 
be necessary to secure the assistance of three masters 
and of one or two subordinate teachers. Boys might 
be admitted to the school at nine years of age ; the 
fee should be ,18 a year, paid in three terminal 
instalments ; for drawing, elocution, and chemistry 
extra fees should be paid. 7. Guarantee fund. The 
salaries of the three assistant masters would require 
,600 per annum, and those of the French and Ger- 
man teachers, the writing master, etc., would amount 
to ^400, or ;i,ooo in all. ^1,000 would also be 
needed for alterations of the building and for special 
furniture ; and it would be well to raise a guarantee 
fund of ,2,000 to test the scheme for one year. 
8. Class rooms. These could be formed in the college 
buildings, but* it would be desirable to have a separate 
entrance. Then followed a recommendation as to 
vacations, and the opening and closing of the school 
with prayer. 

Several months passed before the subject was taken 
up by the trustees ; meanwhile a very important change 
had been effected in the college. 

At the trustees' meeting held on 28th May, a letter 
was read by the secretary from Mr. Scott, intimating 
his intention to resign the office of principal. The 
meeting was adjourned to the 2nd of June, when Mr. 
Scott attended and read his letter. He said : "I beg 


leave respectfully to resign into your hands the office of 
principal of Owens College, which, by your appoint- 
ment, I have now held for more than six years. During 
that period I have had but too frequent occasion to 
experience your indulgence when the state of my health 
has interfered with my efficiency in a manner more 
painful to none than myself. For this and for much 
courtesy accept my best thanks. If I enter into 
no detail of motives for this step, you will I do not 
doubt cordially interpret my reserve. It is sufficient 
that I ought to hold office no longer, after I des- 
pair of discharging its functions in a manner satis- 
factory to my own conscience. I do not expressly 
include in this resignation the chairs of logic, moral 
and mental philosophy, and of comparative gram- 
mar, English language and literature, the duties of 
which I could undertake with undiminished confidence. 
But although I am desirous to hold these as long as it 
may be compatible, in your judgment, with the interests 
of the institution, I am perfectly aware that the 
arrangements required by my vacating the principal- 
ship might be rendered difficult by those chairs not 
being vacant also. In that case, I beg that so far as 
my consent can affect the question, they may be re- 
garded as equally at your disposal with the office of 

It was resolved: "That Mr. Scott's resignation of 
the office of principal be accepted, and that he be 
requested to continue to discharge the duties of that 
office until the trustees shall have made such arrange- 
ments as may be necessarily consequent upon his 

Resolved: "That, in accepting Mr. Scott's resigna- 
tion of the office of principal, the trustees wish to 



record their high sense of Mr. Scott's character and 
qualifications, and to acknowledge the candour and 
urbanity which have uniformly distinguished his 
intercourse with the trustees." They also passed a 
resolution that they felt it desirable, if it were found 
practicable and consistent with other arrangements, 
that Mr. Scott's services should be retained as a 

On the 1 4th July following, Joseph Gouge Green- 
wood, Esq., B.A., the professor of the Greek and 
Latin languages and literature, was appointed principal 
of the college from that date. 



"Scant and brief as this sketch is, we cherish the hope that in this seeking 
time some few of the seekers may ask to know more of A. J. Scott, and so to make 
acquaintance through his writings with himself." Recollections of Professor A. J. 
Scott, p. 31. Greenock, 1878. 

^~*- principal of Owens College, was born at 
Greenock in 1805. His father, Dr. Scott, was a 
minister of the Church of Scotland, and had the over- 
sight of one of the three parishes into which Greenock 
was then divided. His parents were highly cultivated, 
so that from his earliest youth he had every faculty 
developed and educated, and to this training may 
doubtless be traced his wide culture and refined taste. 
His earliest days were spent at the grammar school of 
his native town, and from thence he went to Glasgow 
University at the age of fourteen ; not to banishment, 
as he had the consolation of intercourse with many 
friends and relatives. 

It was intended that young Scott should presently 
enter the ministry of the Church of Scotland, and as it 
was the custom for divinity students to have a seven 
years' course, Scott remained at the university till he 
was of full age. He was then entitled to receive his 
licence from the Presbytery of Paisley as a licentiate of 
the church, which he obtained. In the meantime he 

A. J. SCOTT. 165 

accepted a tutorship in Edinburgh, and while there he 
attended some of the principal medical classes in the 
university of that city. 

There were many eminent men in Edinburgh, and 
diligent students had frequently the opportunity of 
making their acquaintance. It was during this time 
(1826), while acting as tutor in the family, that Scott 
became known to Thomas Erskine, of Linlathen, who 
had recently published two books, one on The Evi- 
dences of Christianity, and the other on The Freeness 
of the Gospel ; both of them were in perfect sym- 
pathy with Scott's own mind. The acquaintance with 
Erskine ripened into a friendship which lasted through 
life. They were often destined to meet, and, with 
the Rev. J. McLeod Campbell, of Row, to form a 
triumvirate which gave the Established Church of Scot- 
land no small trouble. " All through my life," says 
Dr. Hanna, 1 "each of these three friends found in the 
other two what he found in none beside. Intellectually, 
socially, spiritually, they moved in separate orbits, each 
having a path of his own, which with absolute inde- 
pendence he pursued. But the paths lay very close to 
one another, and so entirely in the same plane, sloping 
upwards to the great central Source of light and life 
and love, as to constitute a separate sphere of religious 
ideas, aims, and aspirations, apart from and above that 
of many with whom their names came afterwards to be 

The student life at Edinburgh being ended, the 
young probationer was anxious for admission to the 
Church. Writing to his friend and neighbour, Rev. 
R. Story, of Roseneath, October 2nd, 1827, Mr. 

1 Letters of Thomas Erskine, of Linlathen, i., p. 130. 


Campbell says: "Sandy Scott is licensed, with great 
approbation; the old doctor (his father, Dr. Scott) 
quite delighted, although" and here probably is the 
first indication of ecclesiastical doubts which after- 
wards led to his withdrawal from the Scotch Church 
" there was one of his subjects on which Sandy 
was led naturally to consider the doctrine in which 
they differ, and he did not think he would be faithful 
in avoiding it, so he did not. As you are from 
home Sandy preaches first for me." This was at Row. 
Mr. Campbell was at this time doing duty in the ad- 
joining parish of Roseneath for his friend Mr. Story, 
who was invalided in the south of England. 

Campbell was not disappointed. He says: "I 1 
heard Scott with very peculiar delight. His preaching 
was with a sober, solemn composure, that would have 
seemed a delightful attainment in a man of much expe- 
rience. The progress he has already made in the 
divine life, the elevation and clearness of his views, 
the spirit of love which he breathes in every word, and 
the single-eyed devotedness to his Master's glory, are 
to me most delightful illustrations of the power of 
simple faith." 

The young preacher was ever ready to assist his 
friend, and it was on one of these occasions that Irving 
made overtures to Scott to become his assistant. 
Writing from Glasgow to his wife, June loth, 1828, 
Irving says: 2 "I preached ... on sabbath at 
Roseneath, in the tent, on the name of God. . . . 
At Row on the 24th, ... I was much delighted 
with Campbell and Sandy Scott, whom I have invited 

1 Reminiscences, p. 22. 

z The Life of Edward Irving, by Mrs. Oliphant, London, 1862, first edition, 
ii., p. 27. 

A. J. SCOTT. 167 

to come with you to London. I trust the Lord will 
deliver him out of his present deep waters." 

Scott had embraced Campbell's views, and had 
relinquished the intention of entering the ministry, as 
he thought he was thereby disqualified for it. He had 
gone to study medicine at Edinburgh; and he accepted 
Irving's earnest invitation to become his missionary 
to the poor of London on the distinct understanding 
that he was perfectly free and unfettered. 1 Irving had 
gone to Edinburgh, and while there Campbell visited 
him to ask counsel and help on questions which were 
stirring his mind. They were these : That in order 
that people might be free to serve God, with a pure 
disinterested love to Him, their first step in religion 
would require to be, resting assured of His love in 
Christ to them as individuals, and of their individually 
having eternal life given to them in Christ. 2 

This doctrine he preached in 1826, and in the fol- 
lowing year he aroused great opposition to himself at 
Glasgow. But he could not stop here. He saw that the 
blot on the religious system of Scotland, and that which 
led to much sanctimonious pharisaism, was that men 
took assurance to themselves as " the elect," to the 
exclusion of others. He saw that this " assurance" 
must not be the result of self-examination alone, of 
the mood and feelings of the individual, but must be 
something outside of it ; it must be based upon the 
Divine promises in the New Testament. To him the 
atonement was universal, and that unless Christ had 
died for all, unless He was indeed the gift of God to 
every human being, there was no sufficient warrant for 

1 ET -skine's Letters, L, p. 137. 

* Memorials of John McLeod Campbell, by his Son, London, 1877, i., p. 50. 
Also Life of R. Story, pp. 143-150. 


calling upon men to be assured of God's love to them. 
The atonement had been made for all, and was God's 
free gift to man ; it was for each and every man to 
believe and receive it. Christ was the elect, of God, 
and all who believed in Him must of necessity become 
the elect. Irving was greatly impressed with these 
views and adopted them, and preached at Row for his 
young friend. 

Coming from the great city of the west, with its 
somewhat hard features and stern surroundings, and 
escaping from the heavy canopy of smoke which fre- 
quently obscures Greenock, Port Glasgow, and the 
river, it is most refreshing to sail up some of the nume- 
rous lochs which have their entrance from the Clyde. 
The scenery of each loch has its own characteristic 
rugged, grand, bold, or tender but none has more 
placid beauty than the Gareloch. 

On the left or western shore, Roseneath is hidden in 
wooded loveliness, the mansion of the Duke of Argyll 
being the one prominent feature; the hills rise higher 
in the distance till they form the bold ridge which 
separates Dumbarton from Argyleshire. Below, the 
loch has widened into a fine sheet of water, bounded by 
wooded slopes and fair meadows. At the eastern en- 
trance is Row, with its long tongue of shore stretching 
far across the loch and serving for an excellent break- 
water in winter storms. Row has more of the appear- 
ance of a quiet, lovely, Thames village than of a 
northern town. " The weariest Pilgrim of the Beau- 
tiful," says one, 1 " could wish to gaze on no fairer scene 
than then meets the eye, as the westering sun gradually 
leaving the slopes of Roseneath, with the leafy glens 

^Life of Story, p. 42. 

A. f. SCOTT. 169 

and deep rich woods around its nestled bay, in 'gathering 
shadows, still shines upon the winding shore' of Row, 
and sparkles on the roofs and windows of the villas that 
rise among their trees and gardens, while the rough 
mountains in the airy distance assume a deeper purple." 
This fair scene and its neighbourhood was to become 
the centre of a great religious movement, which was to 
have a very important influence on the future lives of 
Irving, Campbell, Scott, Erskine, and Story, and which 
was to arouse the attention of the whole kingdom. 
" There Irving met," says Mrs. Oliphant, 1 " not for the 
first time, but with an important result, another man 
Alexander Scott, now of Manchester, a man 
whose powerful, wilful, and fastidious mind has produced 
upon all other capable minds an impression of force and 
ability which no practical result has yet adequately 
carried out: a Scotch probationer, but characteristically 
recalcitrant and out of accordance with every standard 
but his own, this remarkable man, then young, and in 
a position in which any great thing might be prophesied 
of his visible powers, attracted, I cannot tell how, not- 
withstanding his total dissimilarity and unaccordance, 
the regard of Irving. A greater contrast could not be 
than between that fastidious fancy, which seems to 
reject with disgust the ordinary ornaments of language, 
winning a kind of perfection of simplicity by the dis- 
dainful finesse of art and the fervent and glowing 
imagination, swelling into irresistible lyric strains by 
intuition of nature, which inspired the eloquence of 
Irving; unless it were the contrast between the pro- 
found and sublime faith which turned belief into reality 
in the heart of the great preacher, and that questioning, 

l Life of Irving, ii., pp. 28-9. 


unsatisfied, always fastidious philosophic soul, which 
seems to delight in undermining the ground on which 
the other great intelligence holds a precarious standing, 
and lessening one by one the objects of possible faith. 
Notwithstanding this vast difference, so visible now-a- 
days, these two dissimilar natures had somehow fallen 
into warm and sudden friendship: and Irving, all truth- 
ful and ingenuous, desiring no pledges about doctrine, 
and confident in the piety and truth of the young man, 
engaged the doubtful probationer to join him in London, 
and be his assistant in his ministerial labours. Such an 
offer, perhaps, no man in the Church of Scotland but 
himself would have made; but the bargain seems to 
have been concluded at this Row preaching; and for 
some time after this strangely-matched pair laboured 
together with such agreement as was possible, and with 
friendship unbroken." 

It is not intended in this volume to follow Mrs. 
Oliphant in her attacks upon Scott. They drew from 
him a long letter of vindication, which appeared in 
the Daily News of May 26th, 1862, and from which 
some important quotations will be made. Maurice, 
writing two days after the appearance of this letter, and 
referring to Mrs. Oliphant's biography of Irving, says: 1 
"The part about Scott has apparently pained his friends 
and himself beyond expression." Mr. Scott com- 
plained to the writer of this history of the injustice 
Mrs. Oliphant had done him. He said that on hearing 
she was about to write a life of his friend he had offered 
to lend her any of his papers, or to give her any 
explanation about his relations to Irving that was in his 
power, and that she had not availed herself of his offer. 

1 Life of the Rev. F. D. Maurice, by his Son, ii., p. 403. 

A. J. SCOTT. 171 

That Irving loved and trusted Scott is manifested in 
many allusions by the former. In a letter to Dr. 
Chalmers he says: 1 "Sandy Scott is a most precious 
youth, the finest and strongest faculty for pure theology 
I have met with." And again, after a longer experience, 
he writes to the same correspondent : 2 "A young man 
so learned and accomplished in all sorts of discipline I 
have never met with, and as pious as he is learned, and 
of great, very great discernment in the truth and faith- 
fulness God ward and man ward." And to Dr. Scott he 
wrote: 3 "Your son has taken up the cross, and I think 
he will not lay it down till he receives the crown. He 
is a very stay to me ; he comforts me greatly." 

The two pastors lost no time in commencing earnest 
work. Dr. Martin, writing towards the close of 1828, 
says some things stated at the Albury conference had 
greatly impressed Irving with the ignorance of the 
poorer population of London, and with the sin of those 
who were more enlightened in not doing more for their 
instruction ; he therefore resolved to preach every night 
to the poor of London and its vicinity, while Scott was 
to do the like in Westminster. " The Lord be with 
them!" ejaculates the doctor, 4 "but there are limits to 
mortal strength Mr. Scott's is not great, and Edward's, 
though more than ordinary, is not invincible." 

Scott remained with Irving till the summer of 1830, 
when he accepted a cordial invitation to become the 
minister of the Scotch Church at Woolwich. This was 
not the result of a quarrel or of jealousy ; the two men 
parted as friends, and ever remained such. 5 They 

1 Life of Irving, ii. , p. 68. 2 Ibid., p. 126. 

8 Erskine's Letters, i. , p. 137. * Life of Irving, ii., p. 63. 

* See letter from Scott to Mrs. Rich on Irving's death. Memorials of J. M. 
Campbell, i., p. 126. 


differed on political and ecclesiastical subjects. " He 
had," says Scott, "from the first a strength of ecclesias- 
tical, I might say hierarchical feeling, impossible with 
my convictions. 1 Irving hated the pretensions of the 
Reformers of 1830-2, and looked upon the concessions 
to the Roman Catholics, and to the Dissenters in the 
repeal of the Test and Corporation Act, as signs of 
those evil days that were to herald the second advent. 

But this difference of opinion did not lessen his 
interest in Scott's settlement, nor diminish his friend- 
ship for his late colleague. Writing to Dr. Martin, he 
says : 2 " The Lord's hand hath indeed been manifest in 
the settlement at Woolwich. Almost unanimously 
hath Mr. Scott been chosen, who had not a man 
[clergyman of the Scotch Church], no, not one, to 
speak for him. But he had friends in a higher court ; 
it was like a thunderstroke to us all. I praise God for it 
above all measure ; it is decidedly the most striking 
instance of an overruling Providence which hath 
occurred in my day." 

On his "trials" before the London Presbytery, pre- 
vious to his entering upon his charge at Woolwich, 
Scott preached three several discourses, one of them on 
the words, " God sent not His Son into the world to 
condemn the world, but that the world through Him 
might be saved." And this, says a correspondent, was 
the key-note of his whole life's teaching. 

In accepting the call to Woolwich, it became neces- 
sary for him to be ordained by the Presbytery of 
London, and this involved subscription to the West- 
minster Confession of Faith. This he could not give, 
though he was willing to sign the original National 

1 Letter to the Daily News. * Life of Irving, ii., p. m. 


A. J. SCOTT. 173 

Confession of John Knox. 1 Before accepting the call 
he thought it his duty to give notice of his views to the 
Moderator of the London Presbytery as follows : 2 

" London, October, 1830. 
" Reverend and Dear Sir, 

" Not having yet received the call from the congregation at 
Woolwich, I am unwilling to delay any longer putting into a 
permanent form my determination regarding that call, in order that 
you may, at as early a period as possible, communicate it to the 

" Not believing that I could, consistently with truth, sign as a 
confession of my faith a statement in which it is asserted that ' none 
are redeemed by Christ but the elect only ' ( West. Con/., ch. iii., 
sect. 6), or that ' to all those for whom He hath purchased redemp- 
tion He doth certainly and effectually communicate the same ' 
(ch. viil, sect. 8), implying ' that He died for their sins only ' (ch. xi., 
sect. 4) ; seeing I believe that God would have all men to be saved 
and come to the knowledge of the truth, in testimony whereof Christ 
gave Himself a ransom for all men ; having also a firm conviction 
that the Sabbath and the Lord's day are not, as stated in the Con- 
fession (ch. xxi., sect. 7), one ordinance, but two, perfectly distinct, 
the one Jewish, the other Christian ; believing that the powers 
enumerated (ch. xxx., sect 2) are greater in kind than could have 
been conferred on me by the imposition of the hands of the Presby- 
tery, while by accepting ordination I should recognise in them a 
right and ability to convey such powers, I may not accept ordina- 
tion while my signing the Westminster Confession is made the 
condition of my receiving it, as it would be by the Presbytery in 
London, and therefore resign again into their hands every claim or 
right which I might found on the call addressed to me by the Scotch 
congregation at Woolwich inviting me to become their pastor. 

"A. J. SCOTT." 

He so far gave up the intention of continuing in the 
ministry that he prepared to live by classical and 
mathematical teaching. Irving dissuaded him from 
taking this final step. " He conceived," said Scott, 3 

1 See letter to Daily News. * Erskine's Letters, i., p. 138. 

3 Letter to Daily News. 


"that I ought not to anticipate the actual decision of 
the Church to assume myself cut off from her com- 
munion by an act of my own without her express 
sentence. In compliance with his desire, I agreed with 
the Presbytery of London that a reference should be 
made to the Scotch Presbytery at Paisley, which had 
conferred my licence, on the question whether my 
refusal necessarily implied or incurred its forfeiture, 
hence an appeal to the Synod or intermediate court, 
and finally to the General Assembly, who alone could 
deliver an unquestionable voice of the Church." 

On the 27th May, 1831, he was summoned on the 
charge of heresy before the Presbytery of Paisley, and 
deprived of his licence to preach. It had been granted to 
him in 1 827. The General Assembly confirmed the sen- 
tence of the lower court. Without a dissentient voice 
they found that : r "Mr. Scott having declared that he 
did not believe the whole doctrine of the Confession of 
Faith, deprived him of his licence as a preacher of the 
Gospel, and prohibited all its ministers from employing 
him to preach in their churches." 

Though deprived of his licence, and forbidden to 
preach in the pulpits of the Church of Scotland, he still 
made Woolwich his home, and continued to preach to 
and teach those who were willing to come and hear 
him. His was not the style that would draw the 
masses. He was a thinker, and the fashion of the 
world is, very often, to let others think for it, and to 
follow that which is authorised. His language was not 
sufficiently homely for the multitude. His friend 
Campbell, in 1837, said : 2 " He makes a larger demand 
upon the intelligence and also upon the knowledge of 

1 Ersktne's Letters, i., p. 140. * Memorials, i., pp. 144, 150. 

A. /. SCOTT. 175 

the English language of his hearer than I usually do, 
and than I think he used to do long ago." Hence it is 
not surprising to hear that Scott " had his own small, 
but earnest and sincere audience at Woolwich." 1 The 
impression made on McLeod Campbell's mind by the 
Woolwich congregation was 2 that of great " soberness 
and truth." 

It was whilst at Woolwich that most of Scott's finest 
sermons and discourses were given. Very few of these 
have been preserved, but a glimpse has been given of 
their influence. Writing on September 5th, 1842, Mr. 
Erskine says: 3 " I spent about three months this spring 
and summer in London, having gone up primarily to 
hear Scott lecture on his old subject, the mutual relations 
of religion and philosophy. I felt an increasing admira- 
tion for his talents as a lecturer. I afterwards heard 
him deliver two lectures on schism. 4 He began by 
showing wherein true unity consists. God is the only 
real centre, and separation from Him is the only real 
schism. Then our union to Him must be spiritual, and 
therefore schism cannot consist in a difference of form, 
as unity cannot consist in a similarity of form. 
I went down to Woolwich pretty often to hear him 
preach on Sundays, always with great satisfaction." 

It is necessary to go back a few years and speak of 
the effect of Scott's preaching on the banks of the Clyde 
and in London. He was profoundly impressed with 
the life and work of the early Church. He found as 
an element of that life certain unusual gifts those of 
speaking and healing. As in the Old Testament, the 
Holy Spirit was conceived as a supernatural power, 

1 Journals of Caroline Fox, ch. xv., p. 255. 

* Memorials, i., p. 147. s Letters of Thomas Erskine, of Linlathen, ii., p. 26. 
4 See Discourses, by A. J. Scott, pp. 230-280. 


which descended temporarily upon individuals, and 
produced extraordinary effects for definite purposes, so 
likewise in the first Church he conceived it was the 
supernatural divine power which called forth extra- 
ordinary effects of a remarkable kind. There had been 
the ecstatic condition of speaking with tongues, the 
apocalyptic gift of prophecy, the individual gift of the 
word of wisdom, the special power of faith for miraculous 
cures and similar extraordinary charismata, which were 
looked upon as the sign of the Messianic spirit: those 
speaking with tongues at Corinth being regarded as 
spiritual men pre-eminently, so it might be to-day, he 
thought, if there was similar faith, earnestness, and 

It was during the progress of the " Row contro- 
versy," in 1829, that Scott went down to preach for his 
friend Campbell at Row, and also at Port Glasgow. 
His subject was the Charismata* of i Corinthians xii. 
4, 8, 9, 10, n, 28, 30, 31, etc. These sermons led 
to an extraordinary movement. Nothing in the reli- 
gious condition of the time, says Mr. Story, can be 
assigned positively as its root and cause, unless, pos- 
sibly, the reaction of fervour and excitement that some- 
times follows a period of indifference and lassitude. 

In a humble cottage at Fernicarry, on the western 
side of the Gareloch, lived one Isabella Campbell, who 
is described as having been a singularly pious and 
amiable young woman. She died, after a lingering ill- 

= a grace, favour, a free gift, gift of God's grace. Liddel and Scott, 
p. 1716. x.aplsna.Ta. = "eminent endowment of individuals, in and by which the 
Spirit indwelling in them manifests Himself . . . and these either directly 
bestowed by the Holy Ghost Himself, as in the case of healing, miracles, tongues, 
and prophesying, or previously granted them by God in their uncovenanted 
state. ... Of all these gifts faith working by love was the necessary sub- 
stratum and condition." Alford's Greek Testament, ii., p. 546. 

A. J. SCOTT. 177 

ness, of consumption. She had a sister, Mary, 1 who 
was a woman of great personal attractions, had a beau- 
tiful face, and soft eyes with drooping lids, which she 
seldom raised. She was very clever, and, considering 
her obscure circumstances, was well informed. She 
had been engaged to be married to a young man with 
whom she had intended to go abroad on a mission to 
the heathen. He died, and Mary seemed to be stricken 
with the disease which had carried off her sister. To 
her Scott made his appeal : with what result will be 
shown presently. 

Irving drew up a statement entitled: "Facts con- 
nected with Recent Manifestations of Spiritual Gifts," 
dated December 24th, i83i, 2 in which he traced the 
origin, progress, and results of the movement, and 
stated in a letter to the editor: "I sit down faithfully 
to narrate what hath come under mine own eye, or 
been brought to my knowledge from the most certain 
and authentic sources." In this paper he distinctly 
states that to Scott " it was reserved to sow the seed 
which hath borne this precious fruit." "He was at 
that time," says Irving, "my fellow-labourer in the 
National Scottish Church, being our missionary to 
preach to the poor of this city [London] ; and as we 
went in and out together, he used often to signify to me 
his conviction that the spiritual gifts ought still to be 
exercised in the Church ; that we are at liberty and 
indeed bound to pray for them, 3 as being baptised into 
the assurance of the ' gift of the Holy Ghost,' as well 
as of ' repentance and remission of sins.' . . . 
Towards the end of 1829 our excellent missionary 
being called down to Scotland upon some 

1 Story's Life, p. 194. * Fraser's Magazine, iv., pp. 754-761. 

Cf. Discourses; Art. "Prayer." 


occasion, and residing for a while in his father's house, 
was led to open his heart to some of the godly people 
in those parts, and, among others, to a young woman 
who was at that time lying ill of a consumption, from 
which afterwards, when brought to the very door of 
death, she was raised up instantaneously by the mighty 
hand of God. Being a woman of very fixed and con- 
stant spirit, he was not able, with all his power of state- 
ment and argument, which is unequalled by that of any 
man I have ever met with, to convince her of the dis- 
tinction between regeneration and baptism of the Holy 
Ghost; and when he could not prevail, he left her with 
a solemn charge to read over the Acts of the Apostles 
with that distinction in her mind, and to beware how 
she rashly rejected what he believed to be the truth of 
God. By this young woman [Mary Campbell] it was 
that God, not many months after, did restore the gift 
of speaking with tongues and prophesying to the 
Church." 1 

Among Scott's other hearers was a family named 
Macdonald, resident at Port Glasgow. There were 
two brothers, James and George, who were master 
ship -carpenters, and three sisters, one an invalid. 2 
"These good people," says Mr. Story, 3 "along with 
some others, had been led to pray for and to expect the 
restoration of ' spiritual gifts' to the Church, by a 
sermon preached by Mr. A. J. Scott." They thought 
they possessed the gifts of healing. 4 

Another aspect of this great movement was about 
to be presented. It was towards the end of March, 

1 Fraser's Magazine, iv., p. 756. 

* For a fuller account of them see Memoirs of fames and George Macdonald, of 
Port Glasgow, by Robert Norton, M.D., 1840. 

* Life of Rev. Robert Story, of Roseneath, by his Son, p. 205. 
4 See Memoirs of J. and G. Macdonald, pp. 107-9. 

A. J. SCOTT. 179 

1830, says Irving, 1 "on the evening of the Lord's day, 
the gift of speaking with tongues was restored to the 
Church." The friends of Mary Campbell had gathered 
round her sick bed; 2 "had been spending the whole 
day in humiliation, and fasting, and prayer before God, 
with special respect to the restoration of the gifts . . . 
when, in the midst of their devotion, the Holy Ghost 
came with mighty power upon the sick woman as she 
lay in her weakness, and constrained her to speak at 
great length, and with superhuman strength, in an 
unknown tongue, and the astonishment of all who 
heard, and to her own great edification and enjoyment 
in God." The influence was contagious, and shortly 
afterwards the Macdonalds 3 " began suddenly to speak 
in an unknown tongue . . . and thus commenced 
that speaking with tongues and prophesying which 
never afterwards wholly ceased." 

Many visitors speedily flocked to the houses at 
Fernicarry and Port Glasgow to see and hear the mar- 
vellous things spoken of. Highly educated persons 
merchants, divinity students, writers to the signet, 
advocates came. The excitement spread throughout 
Scotland, and agitated many congregations in London. 
Dr. Chalmers was most anxious to obtain an authentic 
account of the utterances, and, if possible, a specimen 
reduced to writing. The assertion of the " prophets" 
was that they were instruments used by the Holy 
Ghost, just as much as a trumpet is in the hands of a 
player; that they uttered the sounds involuntarily, and 
did not know their meaning, but that these words 
would some day fall upon ears, probably in far off 

1 Fraser's Magazine, iv., p. 759. 

3 Memoirs ofj, and G. Macdonald, p. no. 


countries, which would comprehend them, and the 
hearers would rejoice in the gospel message which was 
given in their own tongue. 

The interest taken in the manifestations was very 
great. The reason is not far to seek. In London 
Henry Drummond had gathered together, in conference 
at Albury Park, some fifty individuals, clergy and laity, 
distinguished for learning and piety; who for five years 
1826 till 1830 devoted their time and energy to the 
study of prophecy. No subject is more fascinating ; 
none is more dangerous in the encouragement of 
fanatical zeal, and in intolerance towards those who 
dissent from the conclusions drawn. Words are often 
perverted, and the plainest narratives are made to 
convey a spiritual meaning ; in a word, events are made 
to fit prophecies, and passing incidents are eagerly 
pressed into service to support conclusions. 

To the guests at Albury the times were therefore 
full of portents. Catholic emancipation, and the repeal 
of Dissenters' disabilities, were regarded with the 
greatest disfavour. The revolution in Paris, the death 
of the King of England, the struggle of Belgium to be 
free of Holland, of Poland from Russia, the growing 
agitation for reform, the approach of cholera, were all 
regarded as signs of the times ; nothing was needed to 
herald the second coming of the Lord Jesus but the 
outpouring of the Holy Spirit And while men were 
thus waiting and longing, the news came that in the 
west of Scotland there were indeed signs of His 
coming, for had not humble and unlettered people 
healed the sick, and spoken with tongues, and prophe- 
sied in the name of the Lord ? 

Even so cautious a thinker as Dr. Arnold yielded to 
its influence. Writing in October, 1831, on the subject, 

A. J. SCOTT. 181 

he said :' " If the thing be real," i.e., the Port-Glasgow 
manifestations, " I should take it merely as a sign of 
the coming of the day of the Lord. . . . However, 
whether this be a real sign or no, I believe that 'the day 
of the Lord' is coming, i.e., the termination of one of the 
great a3vcs of the human race." And again, to another 
friend, 2 "my sense of the evils of the times, and to 
what prospects I am bringing up my children, is over- 
whelmingly bitter. All in the moral and physical 
world appears so exactly to announce the coming of 
the ' great day of the Lord.'" 

Irving was entirely carried away with the manifesta- 
tions ; Albury was intensely agitated. One of the fruits 
of the excitement was the founding of Plymouth 
Brethrenism. 3 

The "speaking with tongues" spread from Port- 
Glasgow to Helensburgh, and thence to London. 4 

But there were those who doubted. Dr. Chalmers 
obtained from Mary Campbell her writing of some- 
thing she had uttered and which she believed to be one 
of the languages of the Southern Pacific. Sir G. 
Staunton examined the MS., and pronounced that it 
resembled no known language. Neander, 5 early in 
1832, disputing the assertion that "in certain mental 
states the speaking in foreign languages is by no means 
unnatural," says: " It is plain that a man may easily 
feel himself impelled, when actuated by new feelings 
and ideas, to form new words ; as from a new spiritual 

1 Life of Thomas Arnold, D.D., L, pp. 311-12. Fourth edition. * Ibid. 

'See article "John Nelson Darby," in the Contemporary Review, October, 

* For fuller accounts of this movement see Mrs. Oliphant's Life of Irving, ii., 
chs. iiL, iv., and v. 

4 History of the Planting and Training of the Christian Church by the 
Apostles, by Dr. Augustus Neander, L, p. 14. 


life, a new religious dialect forms itself. But how, 
under such circumstances, it can be natural to speak a 
language altogether foreign, I cannot perceive, nor can 
I find any analogy for it in other psychical phenomena. 
Still less can I admit the comparison with the manifes- 
tations among the followers of Mr. Irving in London, 
since, as far as my knowledge extends, I can see 
nothing in these manifestations but the workings of an 
enthusiastic spirit, which sought to copy the apostolic 
gift of tongues according to the common interpretation, 
and therefore assumed the reality of that gift." 

The great Whig organ 1 devoted forty-four pages to 
an article on " Pretended Miracles Irving, Scott, 
Erskine," in refutation of the asserted miraculous 
origin of the manifestations, and described them as 
functional rather than organic disorders needing a 
sudden stimulus. This stimulus was supplied by faith, 
which of all moral engines, inspired by a religious 
creed, is the most powerful. 

Mr. Story was led to question very seriously the 
utterances of the Macdonalds and of Mary Campbell. 
Scott himself greatly modified his views upon the 
subject, and if theoretically he still held that the Divine 
gifts might be bestowed if the church is worthy to 
receive them, he doubted some of the manifestations 
which completely carried away his enthusiastic friend 
and colleague, Irving. Erskine also changed his views. 2 

This change of mind led to a complete separation 
between Irving, with his church, and Scott. It broke 
down Scott's health, but it did not sever the friendship 
between the two men. When Scott was too ill to 
attend, Irving sent for Mrs. Scott to carry an earnest 

1 Edinburgh Review, No. 106, June, 1831. Art. i., pp. 261-305. 
* See Erskine's Letters, i., p. 204, and especially pp. 207-214. 

A. J. SCOTT. 183 

expostulation to " his dear friend." The interview was 
very touching ; it was manifested that the views of the 
two men were "totally and purely opposite." Irving's 
last words on the subject were : " Mr. Scott or I am in 
dangerous error. The end will show." Thus parted 
these two men, but while sympathy would follow the 
then death-stricken Irving, this generation will pro- 
nounce Scott to have been right in his views. 1 

Two pictures have been given of Scott about this 
period. The first is by Carlyle, 2 in a letter to his wife : 
" Irving hauld me off to Lincoln's Inn Fields to hear my 
double (Mr. Scott), where I sat directly behind a 
speakeress with tongues, who unhappily, however, did 
not perform till after I was gone. My double is more like 
' Maitland,' the cotton-eared, I hope, than me; a thin, 
black complexioned, vehement man, earnest, clear, and 
narrow as a tailor's listing. For a stricken hour did he sit 
expounding in the most superannuated dialect, yet with 
great heartiness, the meaning of that one word Ent- 
sagen"^ The second picture is by the late Rev. C. M. 
Birrell: 4 " The first time I saw Scott was all but half a 
century ago, in the church in Regent's Square, where 
Edward Irving held small meetings in the winter 
mornings to foster the gifts of tongues. The president, 
with his parted hair, still dark as night, sat back in his 
chair below the pulpit, and behind the shade of the 
solitary lamp which stood on the table below him. In 
the course of the meeting a lady, after rocking back- 
wards and forwards for a few moments, sprang to her 
feet and vociferated inarticulate cries, which passed at 
length into rapid repetitions of the phrase, "He is 

1 For an account of this interview see Erskinis Letters, i., p. 205, note. 

*Froude's Life of Carlyle, ii., p. 177. 
3 Self-renunciation. * Sunday at Home, 1881, pp. 664-5. 


coming!" Irving threw himself forward on his elbows, 
and buried his face in his hands, as if overcome with 
awe; but Scott, who had offered prayer earlier in the 
meeting, and whom I now discerned, under the beams 
which had just struggled through the brown air into 
the church, sat erect, with compressed lips and knit 
brows, as if keeping his intellect poised for the forma- 
tion of right judgment. The two foremost men 
were revealed in those attitudes. The one fell 
below the fascination ; the other stood firmly beyond 
its range." 

Scott continued to preach at Woolwich till his re- 
moval to London in 1846. There are few records of 
his work during that interval. In September, 1837, he 
preached for his friend Campbell at Glasgow, " to very 
crowded congregations." A writer says : z " The number 
was considerable, but an effort had to be made by the 
few that did appreciate." Some travelled twenty-five 
miles to hear the preacher, but others failed to under- 
stand him, and thought he talked against time! 

In the autumn of the following year he accompanied 
his friend Erskine to Switzerland, making the tour of 
the Bernese Oberland. During the time Maurice was 
chaplain at Guy's Hospital, Scott was frequently his 
guest, meeting there Carlyle, Rose, Ackland, Sterling, 
Dunn, Sir E. Strachey, Hare, Newman, Bunsen, and 
others. 2 Campbell 3 draws a pleasant picture of his 
friend's life in the summer of 1841. He had gone to 
divide the services with him, and says " he has now 
a very nice small chapel. . . . His congregation 
is increased . . . though it is still but small." 

1 Recollections of Professor A. J. Scott, p. 19. 

4 Life of Rev. F. D. Maurice, i. , ch. xiii. 

8 Memorials of Rev. J. Me Lead Campbell, i., p. 160, 

A. J. SCOTT. 185 

Shooter's Hill rose just behind Scott's house, and 
Plumstead Common was a pleasant, healthy place. 

Two years later, Scott, writing to his friend, says 1 he 
is going to begin a course of lectures on the English 
Reformation at his little chapel. 2 Dr. Pusey had 
startled the world with those doctrines which led many 
out of Protestantism into Romanism. Scott could not 
be a silent witness of the movement. He said : 
" Puseyism, or rather Popery in the Church of Eng- 
land, waxes madder and madder. It is more and 
more plain to me that the disease is the system of the 
English Church itself, and that the way is preparing 
for its downfall. . . . Then what comes in its 
place ? I tremble at the thought of it ; and yet I 
rejoice. Good at last we are assured." 

In November, 1848, Scott was selected for the chair 
of English language and literature in University Col- 
lege, London. His friend Erskine had interested him- 
self in getting him this appointment, and in a letter to 
Lord Rutherford 3 he seeks his lordship's influence for 
his "highly-gifted friend Mr. Scott. I propose this," 
he says, "because I know that it would be a good 
service to your country, and a grace to thee, as well as 
a living vocation to a noble character that seems almost 
lost at present for want of a constant and adequate 

In 1851 Scott was appointed principal of Owens 
College, and professor of comparative grammar, 
of English language and literature, and of logic and 
mental and mo'-al philosophy. He resigned the prin- 
cipalship in May, 1857, and at the next college meet- 
ing it was resolved, on the motion of Professor R. C. 

1 Memorials of Rev. J. Me Lead Campbell, i., p. 171. 
* Cf. Discourses, pp. 59-229, especially pp. 98-129. * Letters, ii., p. 65. 


Christie, and the seconding of Professor Sandeman, 
that " The professors desire to express their regret at 
learning that circumstances have arisen leading to the 
resignation of the office of principal by Mr. Scott a 
resignation wholly unexpected on the part of the pro- 
fessors and to place on record their strong sense of 
the kindly and courteous manner in which he has 
always co-operated with his colleagues." 

In June, 1856, Scott was a candidate for the chair 
of logic at Edinburgh University, which was vacant 
through the death of Sir William Hamilton. He was 
eligible to fill the chair, as the necessity for signing the 
Confession of Faith had been done away with. But 
some of the old prejudice stuck to him. He was 
opposed by a Free Church candidate Professor 
Fraser ; and an Established (Scotch) Church candi- 
date Professor Ferrier. The former gained the 
appointment. Erskine lamented the result, and after 
saying the university narrowly missed getting Scott, 
adds :' " I believe the Free Kirk bears the sin of it." 

On the 1 7th November, 1860, several of the past 
students of Owens College, with some of the auditors 
of the lectures on the " Relation of religion to the life 
of the scholar," assembled to present a marble bust of 
Scott to the authorities of the college. It was the 
work of Mr. H. S. Leifchild, and is an excellent 
likeness. It was an expression of the gratitude of 
those who had profited by Scott's thoughtful and inte- 
resting addresses. The principal of the College, 
Professor Greenwood, presided, and was supported by 
some of the trustees and professors, and other friends 
of the college. Mr. J. A. Picton, M.A., formerly a 

1 Letters, ii., p. 113. 

A. J. SCOTT. 187 

student, and now M.P. for Leicester, referring to the 
want of historical association in connection with a new 
institution like Owens College, 1 said he thought there 
was something far dearer than historical associations, 
however glorious they might be, namely, the personal 
associations "which we ever cherish with those who 
have done us good who have done God's work in our 
souls," and that had been the case with Mr. Scott in 
the college. He could refer to the great good which he 
had received as a Christian minister through the instruc- 
tions he had received from Professor Scott. With 
respect to the lectures, there had never appeared any 
difficulty whatever in addressing people of all shades of 
opinion on the essential truths of religion. Many who 
differed with him very much in some respects had alike 
received those guiding principles which must be of 
service to all in their religious inquiries, and in direct- 
ing them in giving to others the instruction which they 
themselves had derived. 

Professor Scott said that although the institution was 
young, it was pleasant to see former students around 
him, and to believe that a feeling of association was 
growing among them. He looked forward to the time 
when Manchester citizens would proudly indicate the 
leading men in their midst, or those who had gone out 
to the ends of the earth, as those who had been trained 
at Owens College. With respect to the special lectures 
open to the public, he said : "I have disclaimed 
intruding on the office of the theological instructor here. 
My endeavour has been to give an upward direction to 
the habitual business of the place. Nothing has grati- 
fied me more, during the course of my occupation of 

1 See Report of the Proceedings on the occasion of the Presentation of the Bust 
of Professor Scott to Owens College, Manchester, 1860. 


office here, than the warm acknowledgment of lasting 
help help in the far off islands of the ocean which I 
have received, not once nor twice, from those who have 
had the opportunity of attending these lectures." 

Professor Scott took great interest 1 in the formation 
of Owens College in the midst of a manufacturing and 
mercantile population ; and in times of peril to the 
college, when the hearts of the trustees might readily 
have fainted, he invariably insisted upon the paramount 
necessity of keeping up the high standard of education 
which had been adopted at the outset. This seems 
commonplace to-day, but it was a matter of real concern 
in the early years of the college. He also took great 
pleasure in teaching the working men in the evening 
classes, continuing, as it were in a northern town, the 
classes he had held with the dockyard labourers of 
Woolwich in his earlier years. 

Scott was always a delicate man, but during his later 
years his indisposition increased, and he had of neces- 
sity to be frequently absent from the college. This, 
and a lack of organising power, militated against his 
success as principal, that office requiring constant and 
unwearied attention to its routine, as well as to its more 
intellectual duties. To the natural weakness of a frame 
that was never very robust was added the exhaustion 
of deep thinking. "If the blood," says one,* "be 
chemically and vitally in a bad state, or if the nervous 
apparatus be in any way rendered sensibly unfit for 
the use of the soul in acting upon the limbs, then are 
experienced weakness and debility. This state of 
exhaustion may be induced quite as readily by thinking 
as by bodily exertion, for the nervous system is as 

1 See his address at the formal opening of the college. 
z The Power of the Soul over the Body, by George Moore, M.D., p. 93. 

A. J. SCOTT. 189 

much excited by one as by the other. Thinking, with 
the use of the senses or with an effort of the will in 
maintaining attention, is so far a bodily action or func- 
tion, and that of the most exhausting kind." 

The minutes of the trustees and professors' meetings 
frequently refer to illnesses, which prevented the prin- 
cipal from giving his inaugural address at the formal 
opening of the college or of completing his courses of 
lectures. An admiring friend refers again and again to 
this subject in her diary. "Mr. Scott," says she, 1 " has 
not been well during this last visit . . . and I was 
much shocked to hear that he is threatened with disease 
of the heart, sudden death at any moment. His inter- 
course is delightful to me; his mind is deep and high, 
logical and practical, humorous and tender, and he 
is as nearly good as a man can be." And again: 2 
" Mr. Scott has one of those constitutional headaches 
from which he has suffered so much for many years. 
They incapacitate him for conversation or any mental 

Change of scene was sought and obtained in the 
summer vacations, but it was also necessary to be 
absent during part of some of the sessions. In April, 
1864, he went to Brecon to derive good from pleasant 
scenery and congenial society. But the illnesses re- 
turned. In the autumn of 1865 he again visited Swit- 
zerland, and spent the winter on the northern shore of 
Lake Leman. Here, again, he enjoyed the society of 
Vinet, the eloquent preacher at the Protestant Church. 
Here he meditated; and in the lovely scenery the 
heights of Glion and Les Avants, the more distant Dent 
du Midi and the Alps of Savoy and repose, which 

1 Records of Later Life, by Frances Anne Kemble, 1882, iii., p. 283. 
* Ibid., p. 291. 



lake and mountains afforded, he sought rest and re- 
cruited strength. But it was too late: the frame was 
worn out; the great brain was exhausted. He died at 
Veytaux, January I2th, 1866, and was buried in the 
cemetery at Clarens in a simple, unpretending grave, 
the following inscription being cut on the tombstone : 

"A. J. SCOTT, M.A., 

DIED AT VEYTAUX, JAN. 12, 1 866. 

' If any man will do his will, he shall know of the 
doctrine.' -John vii. 17. 

' Thou wilt show me the path of life : in Thy presence is 
fulness of joy.' Ps. xvi. II." 

At a meeting of trustees held 25th January, 1866, 
the principal having announced the death of Professor 
A. J. Scott, on the i2th instant, it was resolved: " That 
the trustees receive with sincere sorrow the announce- 
ment of the death of Professor Scott, the first principal 
of Owens College, and the first professor there of com- 
parative grammar, English language and literature, 
logic, and mental and moral philosophy. Whilst re- 
cording on their minutes this event, the trustees desire 
to express their deep sense of the loss sustained by 
the college in the removal of one who, by his wide and 
deep culture, his thoughtful eloquence, and his pro- 
found earnestness, added dignity to the office he held, 
and when in the full vigour of his powers inspired with 
rare success his own lofty enthusiasm into the minds of 
his pupils." 

Nor were Scott's former colleagues less saddened by 
his decease. At a college meeting held on February 
9th, it was resolved unanimously: "That the principal 
and professors of Owens College desire to express the 
deep grief with which they have heard of the death of 
their late colleague, Professor A. J. Scott. In placing 

A. J. SCOTT. 191 

on record their sense of the loss sustained by the 
college, through the death of one who conferred lustre 
on it by his wide reputation, his eloquence, and his 
extensive and varied learning, they feel how difficult it 
will be to find a successor qualified to represent so ably 
the several subjects professed by Mr. Scott, and at the 
same time to exert so strong and elevating an influence 
on the minds of the senior students." 

A loss which caused so much sorrow to trustees and 
professors was felt by Scott's friends as a great calamity. 1 
It is sufficient to quote one. Erskine 2 says: " To me 
it appears a merciful release of a wonderful prisoner, 
whose life for long has been a painful struggle. No 
man whom I have known has impressed me more 
than Scott, and I have always received unchanging 
love from him." 

The Scotsman and the Spectator had long and highly 
appreciative articles when recording his death. 

In allusion to Scott's impressive style as a lecturer 
and to the inadequacy of his printed compared with 
his spoken addresses, the former says: "There was 
something in the man that transcended while it en- 
riched his words, and entranced his hearers some- 
thing that made them feel that, if what reached them 
was good and great, there was something greater and 
better still unreached and there, if it only could be uttered. 
There was an exuberance of living, instant thought, 
and that of the purest and highest kind, which by its 
very richness prevented its adequate expression. . . . 
It was like seeing and listening unawares to the spon- 
taneous movements and heart music of the soul, working 
out for its own delectation its own deepest themes. 

1 See Fanny Kemble's Records of Later Days, iii. , p. 284 ; Campbell's 
Memorials, ii., pp. 124-6 and 178. a Letters, ii., p. 181. 


This it was that made Mr. Scott's written thoughts so 
ineffectual to give anything like a true and rounded idea 
of his nature and of his powers." 

Those who frequently heard his lectures, still more 
those who had the privilege of attending his classes, 
will testify to the truth of this criticism. 

It has already been shown how strong a personal 
influence Scott exercised upon his friends, and it is 
sufficient to mention here how fully he drew forth the 
love and devotion of two divines representing opposite 
schools in church government. In 1856, F. D. Maurice 
dedicated his Medieval Philosophy to Scott, and at the 
distribution of prizes to the students of the evening 
classes of Owens College, in 1868, he said that his chief 
claim to be present was " that of being in some sense a 
fellow-student, inasmuch as he could say that he had 
learnt almost more from the first principal of Owens 
College more than the students whom he then 
addressed." J. Baldwin Brown, B.A., minister of 
Clayland's Congregational Church, London, dedicated 
his Home Life in the Light of the Divine Idea, 1866, 
in equally enthusiastic terms. 

Daniel Macmillan and Archdeacon Hare are also 
enthusiastic. " I have heard him deliver four lectures 
on the Reformation," says the former. X "I never heard 
or read anything on the same subject at all equal to 
them. His many-sidedness is really wonderful. ... 
He is, I think, second to few men of our time or any 
time. . . . My brother and I went to hear his 
lectures on Schism. We were surprised, not only at 
his depth and clearness, but that so noteworthy a man 
should be so little known. I immediately procured his 

1 Memoir of Daniel Macmillan, by Thomas Hughes, Q.C., 1882, p. 102. 

A. J. SCOTT. 193 

lectures on ' The Social Systems of the Present Day,' 
and after reading them attentively my reverence for 
the man greatly increased. Just at this time the death 
of that noble-minded man, Dr. Arnold, so sudden and 
so unexpected, fell heavily on the heart of all those 
who feel an interest in the welfare of our country. It 
was really cheering to me at such a time to learn that 
we had another noble-hearted, truth-loving man, as yet 
scarcely known." 

Macmillan, in his enthusiasm, sent the lectures to 
Archdeacon Hare, who thus replies: 1 "I can now thank 
you with sincere gratitude for having introduced me to 
the writings of so wise and good a man. ... I 
feel anxious to read all the utterances of his great 
mind; and I have accordingly procured his lectures on 
the Romans, and his three treatises. . . . Hardly 
anything I have read since Coleridge has taught and 
strengthened and delighted me so much as these lec- 

Dr. George Macdonald dedicated his novel Robert 
Falconer to Scott. 

It would probably be impossible to form a complete 
list of Scott's addresses, lectures, and sermons. Very 
few of them have been printed, and with the exception 
of the volume of Discourses, those that were printed 
are very scarce, and some of them were mere transcripts 
from the notes of sympathetic hearers. For an attempt 
at a list see Appendix V. 

1 Memoir of Daniel Macmillan, p. 121. 



COLLEGE HISTORY, 1857-81860-1. 

"To show that knowledge is no light, frail, pleasant diversion, but the one 
needful food, the Heaven-commanded bread and wine of every human spirit, 
this is the main purpose that we ought to have in view. The great question is, 
how may this best be accomplished ?" JOHN STERLING, The Worth of Knorv- 
ledge : Essays, etc., i., p. 466. 

PRINCIPAL GREENWOOD entered upon his 

*- duties as head of .Owens College with much to 
discourage him. The numbers for the session 1856-7, 
the last year of Mr. Scott's principalship, were: 

In the ordinary classes - 33 

In the schoolmasters' classes 33 

In the other evening classes - 88 

Total 154 

And at the close of the session 1857-8 they were: 

In the ordinary classes - 34 

In the schoolmasters' classes - - 24 

In the other evening classes 35 

Total - 93 

There was, therefore, a large falling off during the 
first year of his administration. Nor was this all. He 
had scarcely accepted the offer of the trustees to fill 
the post of principal when his colleague, Dr. Frank- 
land, resigned his position as professor of chemistry. 
The most popular department of the college was there- 
fore without its chief. The public did not fail to take 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1857-8 1860-1. 195 

notice of this sad state of affairs, and the press mani- 
fested its right to give its advice and censure in very 
candid, if not in very friendly, terms. 

The Manchester Guardian, in its leading article of 
July gth, 1858, distinctly pronounced the college a 
failure. Everything had been done which it was 
possible for an endowed institution to do to win the 
young to the college ; " but the ingenuous youth of 
the town resolutely shut their ears to the eloquent 
words of trustees and professors, and refuse to partake 
of the rich banquet to which they are invited. Explain 
it as we may, the fact is certain that this college, which 
eight years ago it was hoped would form the nucleus of 
a Manchester university, is a mortifying failure." The 
article pointed to the reduction of sixty-one students 
during the past year, and gloomily predicted that if the 
decrease went on at that rate, "which seems by no means 
improbable, the professors will soon find their lecture 
rooms vacant, and their iafluence as utterly destroyed 
as that of the descendants of the Great Mogul." It 
then proceeded to ask for, and to give, a reason for this 
decadence. It was all laid to the doors of the classical 
professors in their puny efforts to rival Oxford and 
Cambridge in teaching Greek and Latin ! " These 
considerations," said the writer, " cause us to regret 
that the founder of Owens College thought rather of 
making Manchester rival Oxford and Cambridge in 
ancient learning, than of suiting his college to the 
peculiarities of his fellow-citizens." He then fell foul 
of the science department, Professor Roscoe having 
announced that the Dalton Scholarship had not been 
awarded because none of the laboratory students were 
sufficiently advanced ; and on the managers because in 
the evening classes that on English literature had been 


(temporarily) given up. " Now it is, of course," said 
the critic, " very delightful to learn that some boys in 
Owens College are able to read the Greek Testament ; 
but we should gladly give up whatever benefit is to be 
gained by this if we could be sure that these same boys 
knew something of their own language, and were 
versed in at least the elements of the great modern 
science of chemistry. The causes, then, of the failure 
of Owens College to conciliate the support of the people 
are two : first, the college supplies a kind of education 
which is not wanted ; and, secondly, it does not supply 
the education which is wanted." 

Professor Scott replied in a letter written on the I2th 
of the same month. In it he reviewed the writer's 
statements and upset their fallacies. He showed that 
the curriculum contained eleven distinct subjects to 
eight professors ; that Greek and Latin were treated as 
one subject to one professor ; that the chemical students 
did very good work, although it was not so exception- 
ally good as to merit the Dalton prize ; that the class in 
English literature of the previous session was more of 
a popular evening lecture than a student's class, and 
that in illustration of the difference of teaching and its 
results five attended his evening course of severe study 
in 1856, as against fifty-eight the popular course in 
1857 ; that for an evening course of chemical study, Dr. 
Frankland could not gather such an audience as would 
repay the cost of materials for illustration ; and as 
regarded the newspaper's boast of that love of informa- 
tion displayed by the people which led to " the marvel- 
lous development of a cheap press," Mr. Scott did not 
consider it to be identical with a taste for systematic 
study, or with a sense of its value as a grand instrument 
of mental acquirement and of mental discipline. 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1857-81860-1. 197 

The newspaper editor could not be expected to sit 
still under such a rebuke, but returned to the combat 
by charging Mr. Scott with drawing a fine distinction 
between Owens College that had failed and Owens 
College that did not progress. To the editor's view 
the advantages of a university education were much 
overrated ; the best education was that which men gave 
themselves from observation of men and things, rather 
than that which was taught them by professors or other 
men who were shut out from the business of life. It 
was not encouraging to the gentlemen who had gal- 
lantly expended time and money in the hope of raising 
the standard the very low standard of middle class 
education in Manchester at that time. 

Mr. Scott replied to the second leader, and de- 
fended the trustees for their action in keeping up a 
high standard ; he said that singularly enough if that 
standard had shut out any aspirant for the Dal ton 
Scholarship (chemical), it had also in the same session 
caused the Wellington Scholarship (Greek Testament) 
to be withheld. " Lamentations I did hear," says he, 
"but only from two distinguished merchant -citizens, 
and only over the inadequate appreciation by the Man- 
chester public of an institution which seemed to them 
fitted to be much more useful than it yet is." 

On the same date as this letter, July 2Oth, the Man- 
chester Examiner had a leading article on the subject. 
If its writing was more piquant, it was more appreciative 
than its rival. It asked whether the college was really 
a failure or not? It stated the case of the college its 
capacity, its machinery, its staff; it also reviewed the 
attitude of the public its prejudices, and its meagre 
preparation for higher education ; and it summed up the 
case very fairly. "We are compelled, therefore," it 


said, "to look for the causes of non-success elsewhere 
than in the collegiate machinery. If an objection can 
be raised against the college at all, it is that such an 
institution is either in advance of our felt wants, or 
altogether unsuited to the economical conditions of 
Manchester life. Still, this is the fault of the com- 
munity, not of the college. The worst that can be said 
of it is that it is too good for us. It is out of place 
here just as a missionary may be said to be out of his 
place on the coast of Africa. He offers the gospel, 
and the people want Sheffield blades. He essays to 
rouse within them a consciousness of spiritual wants, 
and they are bent upon elephants' tusks, palm oil, or a 
leash of slaves for the market. The Quay Street pro- 
fessors give us prelections on the highest things in 
earth and heaven ; they tell us of the life of the scholar, 
and strive to allure us into the beatitudes of scientific 
thought. Little does Quay Street wist of these busi- 
ness attractions. The crowd rolls along Deansgate 
heedless of the proximity of Plato and Aristotle. . . . 
And where is poor learning all the while ? Going 
through its diurnal martyrdom of bootless enthusiasm 
and empty benches.'" The writer divided the Man- 
chester youth into two classes those who, through 
their parents' good fortune, could afford a scholastic 
training till they were eighteen years old ; and those 
who thought it necessary In the severe competition of 
life to put their sons to business when they were fifteen. 
The latter could not afford the three years of collegiate 
life ; the former sneered at the thought of completing 
their education at a small college in Manchester when 
the old universities were open to them. Clearly, there- 
fore, the only course to adopt in such a case was 
to keep up the standard, and to wait patiently till 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1857-81860-1. 


Manchester acknowledged the necessity of higher 
training. And the trustees had not to wait long. 
Already there were signs of improvement, and success 
came by-and-by. 

It is not necessary to recapitulate the causes of appa- 
rent failure ; these have been treated already. 1 It is 
sufficient to state once more that the school training of 
Manchester was on the whole so bad that the trustees 
had but one of three courses open to them either to 
rigidly exclude those under a certain age who could not 
pass a test examination, or to establish a school in con- 
nection with the college for junior scholars, or to open 
their doors to all and bring down the standard of the 
college to that of a fairly good school. They were not 
left without temptations to adopt the latter course. 
Meanwhile there were encouraging signs for those who 
could see. If the numbers were lower in the aggre- 
gate than in the previous session, there was a slight 
improvement in the ordinary classes ; the preparation 
for entrance was better ; and although the number of 
students in chemistry was less, and the classes fewer, it 

1 The principal alluded to this subject in his annual report, pp. vi, vii, July 
2nd, 1858, and said : "It has been a complaint often reiterated from this place 
that a much shorter period is allotted to the education of young men in Manchester 
than in most other parts of the country. This complaint is justified in a remark- 
able manner by the statistics of the candidates who have proceeded to the junior 
and senior examinations respectively at the several centres of examination. If we 
take the six principal centres, which alone afford safe ground for comparison, it 
appears that in 

London - - 

Oxford - - 


Liverpool - 

Leeds - - 


Thus, while Manchester ranks third in the total number of candidates, it ranks 
lowest, and by far lowest, in the proportion of senior candidates (i.e., of candi- 
dates above fifteen years of age) ; . . . and shows that in none of the great 
centres of population are the youths withdrawn from education at so early an age." 


f 1 14 or 32 per cent 

the total 


out of whom 

5 6 4i 



the senior 


, 21 

of candi- 





dates was 

| 98 



, 39 

I 94 J 

I 36 

, 38 


was inevitable that a professor coming new to his work 
had difficulties to meet which were unknown to his 

At the trustees' meeting on December ist, 1857, the 
subject of establishing a school in connection with the 
college was considered, as also the expediency of con- 
sulting the Charity Commissioners thereon. Messrs. 
Faulkner and Foster were appointed a committee to 
prepare an application and to present it to the commis- 

The secretary to the commission replied on the 3rd 
February, 1858, stating that having regard to the pro- 
visions of the deed of trust of April i3th, 1852, and 
the will of John Owens incorporated therewith, the 
commissioners had felt no difficulty in arriving at the 
opinion that the trustees had sufficient authority to 
adopt the proposed appropriation of the fund in ques- 
tion, so long as the primary and fundamental objects of 
John Owens's foundation shall be observed. In giving 
this official opinion, Mr. Vane was also empowered to 
state that the Charitable Trusts Act of 1853 would 
operate as a personal indemnity to the trustees for any 
act done in conformity therewith. 

On the Qth April, 1858, a committee, consisting of 
Messrs. Fletcher, Foster, Hey wood, and Principal 
Greenwood, was appointed to take into consideration 
the Charity Commissioners' letter, and to report upon 
such a course of action as it would be best to adopt in 
connection with the needs of the college and the 
powers entrusted to the trustees. 

The principal reported that Owens College differed 
from every other college with which it could be compared 
in two most important particulars : ist. In not being 
connected with a good school for boys, the better pupils 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1857-8 1860-1. 201 

from which would naturally proceed into its classes. 
2nd. In not standing in a distinctly recognised relation 
with any of the branches of professional life. The 
trustees had still the first-named defect under considera- 
tion, and both the principal and his colleagues were 
" as strongly convinced as ever of the policy of removing 
it." For the second defect a partial remedy had been 
suggested in a connection with the medical schools of 
the city, but difficulties had presented themselves, partly 
of detail, and partly "from the danger of introducing an 
element which without counterpoise might prove mis- 
chievous to the more general objects of the college." 

The principal had to lay before the trustees a com- 
munication from Mr. J. D. Morell, H.M. Inspector of 
Schools, in which it was proposed to confer on Owens 
College a professional character in quite another direc- 
tion a proposal which the principal thought deserving 
of "very serious attention both for itself and as removing 
some of the obstacles in the way of a junction with the 
medical schools." Mr. Morell's suggestion was that the 
Owens College trust should provide from its own 
resources a proper building, suited for lecture rooms, 
examinations for certificates, etc.; that the course of 
instruction should be adapted (not necessarily exclu- 
sively so) to the yearly programme required for the 
first, second, and third year students of the British 
School system. That the college should take steps to 
provide residences for Queen's scholars and other 
students wishing to undergo a training for the purpose 
of becoming public teachers, and that the college 
should receive them as students according to a scale of 
payment which would have to be fixed between the 
several parties concerned. Mr. Morell did not think 
that this extraordinary scheme would at all interfere 


with the usefulness or adaptation of Owens College for 
any other students who might choose to attend. In 
fact, he thought that classes adapted for the second or 
third year's classes of the British School system would 
be quite as advanced in every subject (except perhaps 
Greek) as would be required for any class of students 
that would be likely to attend for the purpose of their 
own individual instruction. Mr. Morell, with zeal for 
his own calling, candidly made the following sugges- 
tions, without giving reasons why a middle class 
institution like Owens College should pervert its trust, 
in favour of the institution he recommended, and which 
was " so much needed :" ist. To make Owens College 
a northern Borough Road training school for teachers 
of the British and Foreign School Society. 2nd. The 
Bishop of Manchester (Dr. Lee) was to be solicited to 
throw in his influence with the scheme to get the 
National School Society to favour it, so that their pupil 
teachers might also attend the Owens College classes. 
Some of these teachers would join with the intention of 
afterwards taking orders, and they would be anxious to 
take London University degrees. 

The principal generally approved of the scheme, but 
pointed out certain objections. The advantages would 
be : ( i ) The introduction of a larger number of students 
into the classes; (2) the consolidation of the aim of 
teaching on the one hand, and the securing of an 
earnestness of purpose in one portion of the students 
which would by degrees extend to all ; (3) the course 
of study marked out by the requirements of the Privy 
Council would correspond very closely with that in the 
college. Against this would be the objection of intro- 
ducing a number of young men of a "somewhat miscel- 
laneous description." It might be true that their 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1857-81860-1. 203 

earnestness would do more good than their lower social 
rank would do harm; still an unfavourable impression, 
however groundless, might be produced to the prejudice 
of the founder's institution. "There was also the 
objection that the Government would not permit halls 
to be built in the neighbourhood of the college, and 
that, in fact, it would have to be removed." It was 
still the day of small things, and the trustees are not to 
be blamed for lacking the gift of prevision, but the far 
greatest objection to the scheme was never alluded to. 
A union of a training school with the college would 
have brought down the latter to the level of the former : 
the private institution would inevitably have surrendered 
to the Government school, and it would have been 
impossible to have developed the college into the noble 
institution it afterwards became. 

The consideration of the scheme was arrested by an 
unexpected and painful event. Mr. Foster had 
attended the meeting of trustees and appeared to be in 
his usual good health ; in the evening, while presiding 
at the organ in Chorley (Cheshire) church, he was 
seized with illness, and died the same night. 

The number of trustees having been reduced to six, 
with the prospect of the resignation of one of these at 
an early date, it was resolved counsel's advice having 
been taken on the subject to increase the number to 
fourteen. The following gentlemen were elected : The 
Mayor of Manchester, Ivie Mackie ; the members of 
Parliament for the borough, Sir John Potter and James 
Aspinall Turner ; also Rev. Canon Clifton, Daniel 
Maude, stipendiary magistrate ; Alfred Neild, William 
H. Houldsworth, Thomas Darwell, and James Heald. 
In the autumn Mr. Mark Philips relinquished his trus- 
teeship, and Mr. Faulkner resigned the chairmanship 


of the trustees, a post which he had held with credit to 
himself and with the esteem of his colleagues from the 
foundation of the college. Alderman William Neild 
was elected to the vacant office. 

At the July meeting of the trustees, the principal 
stated that he had been visited by some gentlemen de- 
puted by the board of directors of St. Mary's Hospital 
to inquire if any agreement could be come to by which 
the students of a general medical school, which they 
proposed founding in connection with the hospital, could 
reap the advantage of the chemical and natural history 
classes of the college ; and, moreover, if the connection 
could be of so intimate a kind as to allow of their using 
the name of the college in their prospectus. The princi- 
pal was authorised to inform the directors of St. Mary's 
Hospital that the trustees were willing to receive the 
students of the proposed medical school on their pay- 
ment of the ordinary fees, but that the trustees had not 
then before them any grounds for allowing the name of 
the college to be used in connection with the school. 
The reply does not appear to have been very encourag- 
ing : there may have been good reasons for it ; but it is 
not surprising to find that five months later the direc- 
tors of the proposed school intimated to Principal 
Greenwood that, owing to certain obstacles which had 
arisen, nothing had been done in furtherance of the 
plan. They hoped that if at some future time the 
project should be revived they would receive the 
favourable consideration of the authorities of the col- 
lege. It is interesting as being the second overture of 
the medical profession for union with Owens College. 

The ebb tide had now drearily run its course. Signs 
of improvement set in. They were not brilliant, but 
they were sufficient to inspire hope. The principal, in 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1857-81860-1. 205 

his report to the trustees at their meeting in October, 
1858, stated that for the first time Professor Scott had 
been able to form a Hebrew class ; that the average 
number of classes attended by each day student was 
four against two and a half last session, and by each 
evening student two as against one and a quarter last 
session. The total number of students to date was 
twenty-eight, equal to those at Christmas last year; 
but what was more important was the evidence that a 
much larger number of students had entered for a 
course of study, instead of being desultory attendants 
on single subjects. All this was evidence that the high 
standard set, and happily maintained by the college, 
was beginning to tell upon the youth of the district, 
and that, owing to the university examinations, the 
local schools were bracing themselves up to a better 
quality of teaching than they had hitherto given. For 
the lame ducks it was announced that a tutor would be 
appointed to assist them in the library if a sufficient 
number appeared, but as two only sought that assistance 
the appointment was not made. 

The teaching staff had long desired to form some 
bond of union between the old students and the college 
they had left. This ultimately took the form of an 
associateship of the college, and at a meeting of pro- 
fessors it was unanimously agreed to recommend to the 
trustees " That the associateship of Owens College be 
at once conferred on the following persons, namely, on 
all Victoria scholars, Wellington scholars, Dalton 
chemical scholars, senior Dalton mathematical scholars ; 
on all former students who had taken the degree of 
Master of Arts in the University of London, or the 
degree of Bachelor of Arts in the first class with 
honours ; and on all former students of three years' 


standing who had taken first prizes in two or more 
subjects at the annual examinations in the highest 
ordinary classes held in those subjects." This scheme 
was adopted by the trustees. It was also resolved that 
associates should be entitled to perpetual free admission 
to all the lecture classes of the college, and should be 
allowed the free use of the library on the same condi- 
tions as the students of the college, and also some 
minor social advantages. 1 

The University of Oxford held their local examina- 
tions at Manchester for the first time at midsummer, 
1858, and the trustees offered two scholarships to the 
most distinguished candidates, entitling them to attend 
the classes at the college free of cost, the only limita- 
tion being to the chemical laboratory. This offer was 
accepted, but as the Oxford examiners did not like to 
adjudicate the exhibitions offered to them, the committee 
of the Manchester Society of Middle Class Teachers 
were requested to discharge that duty. 
. These good intentions of the trustees were for the 
moment without result, as it was found at the exami- 
nations that no candidate had obtained a first-class 
either among the juniors or the seniors. At the date 
referred to it was customary for persons who wished to 
matriculate or take their degree at London University 
to pass their examinations in the metropolis. This was 
both inconvenient and expensive, and it was thought 
that the time had arrived when examiners might very 
well come down to the provinces and hold their exami- 
nations in the great towns. There were several colleges 
and institutions in Lancashire and Cheshire affiliated 
with the University of London, and it was felt that it 

1 For present conditions as to associateship see Appendix vi. 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1857-81860-1. 207 

would be a great convenience to them if the exami- 
nations could be held at Manchester simultaneously 
with those in London. Accordingly, the professors of 
Owens College agreed to memorialise the senate of 
London University touching certain clauses in their 
regulations, and at the December meeting the principal 
reported that the senate had approved their report and 
appointed a committee to consider the details of a 
scheme. He stated that the local examination would 
remove the principal practical ground of objection to 
the double examination for B.A. It was agreed at the 
college meeting that, with the consent of the trustees, 
the senate of the University of London be invited to 
use the common hall of Owens College for their exami- 
nations in Manchester. And it was also resolved that 
the principal be requested to communicate with the 
principal of the Lancashire Independent College and 
the chairman of the Manchester Association of Middle 
Class Teachers, with a view to the holding a meeting 
to consider the best way of aiding the senate in carrying 
out their resolution so far as concerned Manchester. 
This was a very valuable concession. It enabled the 
students of Owens College in future to pass the three 
examinations required of a candidate for the degree of 
B.A. in Manchester, enjoying the same privilege in 
this respect as students of University and King's 
Colleges in London, or as members of any of the 
colleges of Oxford or Cambridge. 

At the close of the year the chairman (Mr. Neild) told 
the trustees that he had requested the principal to proceed 
to London, in order to confer with Mr. Morell, and with 
Mr. Lingen, the secretary to the Council on Education, 
on the subject of connecting government schools in the 
neighbourhood of Manchester with Owens College, with 


a view of ascertaining the probability of any arrangements 
being effected and of expediting the conclusion of the 
matter. This was a resumption of the subject which 
w r as under consideration in the spring of the year. 

At the trustees' meeting in January, 1859, the prin- 
cipal reported on a conference he had had with Messrs.- 
Lingen and Morell, and said : " The result of our 
conference was to show that any scheme for such 
cooperation to have a fair chance of success must pro- 
ceed upon the following bases : ist. That the manage- 
ment of the two institutions must be wholly distinct. 
2nd. That lectures may be given by professors of 
Owens College to the pupils of the Training School, 
but in special classes. 3rd. That no difficulty would 
arise as to the place where the lectures should be given, 
that is, whether in Owens College or in the Training 
School. 4th. That any arrangement of the third pro- 
posal would be facilitated if Owens College had a 
building in a site more adapted to the wants of the 
Training School pupils. It was also understood that 
the government grants of sums of ^100 towards the 
endowment of sundry lectureships might be held by 
professors of Owens College, and that the operation of 
inspection would not lead to any interference with the 
mode of teaching." 

College meetings were held to consider these condi- 
tions, and the result was unfavourable to cooperation, 
at least to its full extent. The principal reported that 
with regard to two subjects it appeared that the cha- 
racter of the regulations imposed by the Privy Council 
was such that the necessary discretion and inde- 
pendence of the teachers of those subjects would be 
injuriously shackled. The professors felt this to be a 
very weighty objection, and the following resolution 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1857-81860-1. 209 

was unanimously passed by them : " That the pro- 
fessors of Owens College, having had under their con- 
sideration the question referred to them by the trustees 
on the expediency of a proposed co-operation between 
Owens College and a training school to be founded in 
Manchester, are of opinion that owing to the nature of 
the regulations imposed by the Privy Council in 
respect of certain of the subjects to be taught, they 
cannot, consistently with their views on the true prin- 
ciples of education, recommend that the proposed 
connection be entered into ; but that, to prove the 
readiness of this college to aid in promoting to the 
utmost of its power the educational interests of this 
district, an offer might be made to hold special classes 
for training school pupils (should a sufficient number 
of pupils come forward) in those subjects in which the 
above objection does not apply." 

On the reception of the principal's report the trustees 
made short work with the scheme, and resolved : 
" That it does not appear at present expedient for the 
trustees to take any initiatory steps towards a connection 
with the government training schools." Thus was the 
college happily delivered from committing a great 
mistake. It was very tempting, when numbers were 
few and funds were low, to cooperate with govern- 
ment officials ; but such a union would have become 
an intolerable bondage to the professors, and would 
have absolutely strangled that development which is only 
attainable with freedom of action. Better days were in 
store for the college, and the thought of cooperation 
was never revived. 

It is probable that this contemplated union, which 
would have necessitated additional buildings, and 
possibly a change of site, suggested to the trustees that 


it was perhaps desirable to find some other location for 
the college. The Quay Street site was in many 
respects a very good one, and old students have a fond 
remembrance of it. The house was large and roomy, 
and amply sufficient for those days ; the laboratory was 
excellent, and very far better than any other in Man- 
chester or the neighbourhood ; the district was quiet. 
But there were some serious disadvantages. In winter 
the fog hung closely and dismally when many other 
parts of the town were clear ; though the locality was 
usually quiet, the house trembled when the heavily- 
laden carts went by, and delicate experiments had to 
be suspended. The approaches to the college were 
bad. The recruiting sergeant was generally to be 
found at the public houses in Deansgate and Quay 
Street, and the coarsest forms of vice festered in the 
neighbourhood. This would probably be more likely 
to sicken than to tempt young men, but the impression 
prevailed, not unreasonably, that parents hesitated to 
let their sons be witnesses of it, and that the college 
suffered in consequence. 

At a college meeting held February 2ist, 1859, the 
principal mentioned that an intention had been intimated 
to him by some of the trustees of bringing forward at 
an early date the question of the expediency of pro- 
curing a new college building, and that he believed the 
trustees would be glad to be in possession of any recom- 
mendations that the professors might have to offer in 
that respect. As it was an informal notice no action 
was taken, but it was suggested that should anything 
be done it was desirable : i . To consider if at any future 
time a junction with the medical school could probably 
be effected, as such a junction would be materially influ- 
enced by the distance of the college from the infirmary. 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1857-81860-1. 211 

2. Whether a portion of the new building should be 
used as a residence for students ? 3. More class rooms 
were needed. 4. Lecture rooms should be far from a 
main street. The principal, in reporting these sugges- 
tions to the trustees, said the professors had been 
occupied with " the consideration of the site and the 
arrangements to be recommended in case the trustees 
should decide to take measures for the erection of a 
new college building." Nothing came of this for a few 
years, till the increasing prosperity of the college com- 
pelled a larger building to be found ; but the movement 
is interesting, inasmuch as it shows that the trustees 
had not given up hope of ultimate success, and it mani- 
fests a desire on their part, or on the part of the teaching 
staff, for union with the medical schools. 

The session of 1859-60 began favourably. The 
previous session closed with forty ordinary students, as 
against thirty-four in the session preceding ; and the 
evening students one hundred and seven against fifty- 
nine, or a total of one hundred and forty-seven against 

The principal was able to announce that there were 
as many ordinary students at the commencement of the 
new session as there had been at the close of the old 
one. It may here be stated that the number shortly 
afterwards rose to fifty-seven. This was very encouraging 
in itself, but there was also the satisfaction of seeing a 
better quality of men, and that they showed more 
earnestness in preparation for the London University 
degree. The B.Sc. degree was highly prized. No doubt 
part of this improvement was due to the university 
having held its first examinations for matriculation for the 
Manchester centre at Owens College in July of that year 
(1859), and for the B.A. degree in October following. 


It was not to be expected that this prosperity could 
be maintained, and a further development insured, unless 
the claims of the times were met. 

Dr. Roscoe had thrown his energy into the develop- 
ment of the chemistry department, but he was obliged 
to call attention to the small advantage derived by many 
of the younger students in the laboratory, partly from 
their want of sufficient previous knowledge, and partly 
from the short time spent in the study of chemistry and 
its irregular character. He recommended the estab- 
lishment of a laboratory class, to be held twice weekly 
for two hours at each time, which such students should 
ordinarily be expected to attend. This was carried out 
with good results. 

The University of London in 1858 instituted some 
new degrees of science. They were the B.Sc. and the 
D.Sc. Their introduction demanded of those who 
aspired to them a thorough and extensive familiarity 
with several branches of physical science, in some of 
which the college was deficient. The trustees felt the 
great importance of being fully equipped if they were 
to make the college successful in its scientific teaching. 
At a college meeting held January 23rd, 1860, the 
principal stated that the trustees desired to have the 
collective opinion of the professors as to the desirability 
or otherwise of creating a professorship of natural 
philosophy. Hitherto it had been included with mathe- 
matics. Natural philosophy was now commanding 
greater attention than formerly, and London Univer- 
sity had made it one of the special subjects for its new- 
degrees. The college meeting the professor of 
mathematics alone dissenting resolved that great 
inconvenience had long been felt from the absence of 
a course of lectures in the college on experimental 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1857-8 1860-1. 213 

physics, a course which was expressly required in 
preparation for the matriculation examination of the 
University of London, and very desirable as collateral 
to the courses of the professor of chemistry : that from 
the greater prominence given to natural philosophy in 
the new regulations for the degree of B.A., and in the 
institution of degrees in science, the college was unable 
to offer to its students complete courses of study con- 
ducting to those degrees (in arts and science), prepara- 
tion for which might reasonably be sought in a college 
for general education. They thought a professorship 
of natural philosophy ought to be created, and that the 
professor should be a mathematician. 

The principal was requested to place these reso- 
lutions with some letters received from Professors 
Augustus de Morgan and G. G. Stokes before the 
trustees. These letters are interesting and valuable, 
both as being the convictions of eminent men, and as 
the pleadings for a separate course of study which was 
strongly opposed by some in those days, but is gene- 
rally accepted now. Mr. de Morgan was professor of 
mathematics at University College, London. In his 
letter he said: "A course of experimental physics may 
be as rigorous in its way as a course of mathematics. 
It may be ocular demonstration of the consequences of 
admitted principles, or the same of the principles them- 
selves, or both. This depends on the teacher. An 
illogical man may make mathematics as unsound as 
what is popularly called physics in lectures : a logical 
man may make experiment as soundly demonstrative 
of its conclusion as mathematics itself. But he must 
know what experiment can end in, and what must be 
prepared to prevent his pupils from imagining that 
they do demonstrate what they really do not. If the 


college can find out the man, the man will find out the 
way. But he must be a sound mathematician. I never 
knew of a physical lecturer who was no mathematician 
who understood what it is that experiment does teach. 
Take a mathematician who has to learn his work rather 
than a ready made experimentalist without mathematics. 
I hold that a demonstrative course of experimental 
physics is in itself desirable. It shows what demon- 
stration is out of mathematics. And, more important 
still, in proper hands it shows what demonstration is 
not. . . . The fault of lectures in experiment is 
that they aim at too much detail. Method is to be 
taught and quantity. When the student has been on 
fundamental points under a sound instructor, he can 
read experiment with profit ; without such previous 
teaching, he can make nothing of his reading. It is 
anatomy without dissection, and conchology without 
any shells. This is always forgotten almost. The 
lecturers think that they must show everything. They 
ought to show as much as will make a good book show 
the rest. ... I am sure that fifty lectures would 
be ample for the fundamental teaching. The object is 
not to show the practical application of science so 
much as to put the student in a condition to take the 
showing in the places where it is shown. I will defy 
any one to show the practical application of science in 
college lectures." 

Mr. George Gabriel Stokes, F.R.S., was Lucasian 
professor of mathematics in the University of Cam- 
bridge. He said: " I entertain a very strong opinion 
as to the great value of a course of lectures, mainly ex- 
perimental, on natural philosophy. I think it a great 
defect in our system here, that our students have so 
little opportunity for attending or encouragement to 


COLLEGE HISTORY, 1857-8 1860-1. 215 

attend lectures of this kind. The study of natural 
philosophy, for its own sake and not merely as a field 
for the exercise of mathematics, is, I think, too much 
neglected among us. The consequence I believe to be 
that, besides the loss of a particular and valuable kind 
of mental training which the study of physics affords, 
where a class of faculties is called into exercise allied to 
but distinct from the faculties exercised in the study of 
mathematics, some even of our good mathematicians 
are very ill acquainted with practical physics. I think 
that in any establishment for higher teaching there is 
ample room for a chair of natural philosophy, distinct 
from one of mathematics, at least if either the number 
of students be large or mathematics be taught to a great 
extent. If the two offices be combined in one man, 
there is great danger either that his taste for physics 
and the time he must devote to the preparation of a 
good course of experimental lectures will lead him off 
from mathematics, or else his taste for mathematics 
will lead him off from experimental physics. I think a 
lecturer on physics ought certainly to know mathematics 
and ought freely to use them when occasion arises, and 
his class ought readily to understand simple geometry 
and algebra. Without that there is danger that his 
lectures may merge in mere vague expressions of 
popular notions altogether wanting in precision. But, 
on the other hand, a course of lectures on physics would 
be utterly spoiled if the lecturer merely used physical 
laws as pegs whereon to hang mathematical problems 
instead of seeking to investigate and establish them for 
their own sake, merely using now and then a little 
mathematics as a tool. I think it is not very common 
to meet with men who have a strong taste for both 
mathematics and physics, and even if you were to meet 


with such a man, there would be work enough in a large 
establishment for a mathematician and a physicist." 

Mr. Sandeman, professor of mathematics at Owens 
College, who objected to physics being dissociated from 
the mathematical chair, read a paper on the subject. 

He commenced with a rhapsody on mathematics ; 
the mind, he said, found in notions of time, number, 
space, quantity, and motion, so much its own, that it set 
to work upon them to weave out their general relations 
all by itself, without needing to return to the objects 
which called them forth. " The mind, indeed, not only 
thinks these relations but over and above finds them to 
be so altogether part and parcel of its very self that it 
can think no otherwise." In natural philosophy the 
mind has to play no less important, no less needful, and 
not so exclusive a part as in mathematics ; " and that 
in at least (i) asking questions, (2) understanding the 
answers, and (3) following out the consequences," 
geometry and mathematics generally became a neces- 
sity to this end. Of the many ways in which this 
necessity showed itself the three following might be 
noticed: ist. Each kind of magnitude handled in 
natural philosophy had something which belonged to 
itself alone, and something which it had in common 
with other and even with all kinds of magnitudes. 
2. The laws of natural philosophy being laws 
of magnitude could only be stated in mathematical 
form. ... 3. Laws of any generality could but 
be suggested by experiments, however many, varied, 
or exact. A general law must after all be in the first 
instance by some happy thought laid hold of, and can 
only be established by its consequences being found 
true. These consequences can be traced by no hand 
but by the mathematician's. It was precisely in the 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1857-8 1860-1. 217 

darkest and most outlying regions of natural philosophy 
that mathematics was most a stranger, just where indeed 
anything like philosophy was as unknown as mathe- 
matics. Mathematics gets some of the most striking 
and beautiful illustrations of her truths at the hands of 
natural philosophy. Indeed, the two were entwined 
together in most loving, helpful, sisterly bonds, and 
some of cither's fairest and richest provinces were the 
other's gift. 

The trustees resolved at their meeting on March 
29th, 1860, to establish a professorship of natural philo- 
sophy in the college, and they referred it to a sub- 
committee to consider the general nature and limits of 
the professorship, and the steps to be taken towards the 
appointment of a professor. Mr. R. B. Clifton, B.A., 
was appointed to this office July 3ist, 1860. Another 
important step had been taken which was likely to 
benefit the college, and through it the city, to which the 
principal drew attention in his annual report. 

The newly-established general medical council had 
adopted a regulation, the effect of which was to exact 
of all young men, before they could be registered as 
students in any medical college or hospital, either a 
degree of arts of an English university, or a certificate 
of matriculation in Oxford, Cambridge, or London, or 
a certificate of having passed the junior or senior middle 
class examinations of the Universities of Oxford or 
Cambridge ; or, in default of either of these qualifica- 
tions, that they undergo a special examination in arts 
prior to registration. As matriculation in the London 
University would very frequently be preferred to any 
of the other courses open, it was to be expected that 
students of medicine would elect to be examined at the 
annual examinations held at Owens College. 


Certain social and personal matters came up for con- 
sideration and adoption at this time. The chairman and 
Dr. Roscoe were deputed on behalf of the trustees to join 
with other public bodies and societies in an invitation to 
the British Association to hold their meeting for the 
summer of 1861 at Manchester; and in January, 1861, 
Mr. Alderman Neild and Messrs. Heald and Moulds- 
worth were nominated to represent the college on the 
local committee, for the meeting of the association at its 
coming visit. 

The occasional holding of "soirees" was instituted. 
These gatherings were most pleasant, and afforded an 
opportunity for past and present students, for professors 
and trustees, with the general public, to meet on common 

The college was now old enough to have a history, 
and to count many past students who wished to keep 
up their connection in some form with the institution 
they had learned to love. They desired to form an 
Owens College Union, and upon making their request 
to the principal and professors to sanction such society 
by acting as its president and vice-presidents, and to 
aid by occasionally presiding over its meetings and 
delivering lectures to its members, it 'was resolved : 
" That the principal be requested to inform the students 
that the professors cordially approved of the suggestion 
to form such a society as that suggested, and that they 
were willing to aid in carrying the proposal into effect," 

The trustees cordially resolved : " That they approve 
of the sons of professors and of teachers of languages 
or other subjects permanently recognised as part of the 
college curriculum, who shall be actually in office or 
who shall have died whilst in office, being admitted to 
the classes on payment of the admission fee only, and 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1857-8 1860-1. 219 

without payment of class fees, it being stated by the 
principal that the present professors and teachers 
unanimously approve of such a principle being estab- 
lished ; and that any subject shall for the purpose of 
this resolution be deemed permanently recognised as 
part of the college curriculum which shall have been 
included as such in the prospectus for at least three 
years previously." This was discontinued on the 
re-formation of the college in 1870. 



" I have ventured to detain you on this question, namely, the improvement of 
the working classes . . . with special bearing upon the political and civic 
duties which they are called upon to perform. . . . What I want to plead for 
is this that the working classes, and not the working classes alone, but every class 
in the community adds to its happiness, adds to its interests, and adds to its good- 
ness by the pursuit of knowledge. . . . We all want a mental change of 
scene." Right Hon. G. J. GOSCHEN, M.P. Address to Working' Men's Clubs at 
Owens College, April i8th, 1885. 

r I ^HE close of the session 1 860-61 was marked by a 
very important event in the department of the 
evening classes, namely the union of the Manchester 
Working Man's College with the Owens College. It 
is fitting to trace this movement, with the origin and 
progress of the evening classes at Owens College, in a 
chapter specially devoted to the subject. 

In February, 1853, Professor Greenwood commenced 
a schoolmasters' class, which held its meetings in the 
evening. Two courses of fifteen lectures each were 
given, one course in Latin and one in mathematics. 
Twenty-eight schoolmasters attended these classes, and, 
in his annual report, Principal Scott alluded to the sub- 
ject thus: " In the history of the session now concluded 
nothing calls for warmer congratulations than the open- 
ing of the schoolmasters' class. The request of a large 
number of persons, actually engaged in teaching, to be 
furnished with the means of higher instruction for them- 
selves, was in itself a good omen for popular education 


in and around Manchester. Their ready acquiescence 
in the adoption of classics and mathematics as the sole 
business of the first session showed a sound judgment 
on the fundamental requisites for their work . . . 
if Owens College could render no other service to the 
community than this, it would not have been founded 
altogether in vain." 

The next session witnessed a still further development 
of the movement; the schoolmasters' class decreased 
from twenty-eight to eighteen members, but a distinct 
evening department was inaugurated for young men 
of business and others, and fifty-five students were 
enrolled ; forty-one attending Professor Williamson's 
class of natural history, and twenty the history class, 
which was instituted during the session by Professor 

The following session was almost equally prosperous, 
the schoolmaster's class numbering twenty-three, and 
the other classes forty-six, giving a total of sixty-nine, 
as against seventy-one the previous session. But while 
the decrease here was two, it was fifteen in the ordinary 
classes. The principal again testified to the zeal of the 

In the session of 1855-6, Principal Scott commenced 
an evening class in comparative grammar, for school- 
masters and others, and he reported that " the attend- 
ance had been encouraging, in regard especially to the 
superior intelligence and preparation of the students." 

The session of 1856-7 witnessed a very gratifying 
increase of numbers. In the evening classes there were 
of schoolmasters thirty-three, and of others eighty-eight, 
or a total of one hundred and twenty-one. The analysis 
shows : 


Schoolmasters' classes : 

Classics - 32 

Mathematics 1 7 

English Literature 58 

History - 6 

Jurisprudence 9 

Natural History 18 

On this the principal remarks that the schoolmasters' 
classes had been attended "by men of mature age, of 
industrious habits, and having unusual incentives to 
diligence ; although hindered by laborious employment 
from devoting to study, either in or out of the college, 
more than a remnant of their time." 

The next session, 1857-8, was satisfactory, although 
numerically it appears the reverse. The numbers were : 
Schoolmasters' classes, twenty-four ; other evening 
classes, thirty-five. But this falling off is explained in 
the report as being "due to the discontinuance (for the 
present session only, through Professor Scott's illness) 
of a deservedly popular course on English literature; 
the subtraction of fifty-eight, the number contributed 
by that class during last session, would leave thirty 
students then against thirty-five in the present session." 
Mr. Greenwood, who wrote the above, had become 
principal of the college. He adds : "I have also to 
announce that it is proposed to give a more prominent 
and systematic character to the evening classes of the 
college, which have hitherto varied from year to year. 
Members of these classes will be encouraged to enter 
on a systematic, rather than a desultory, course of 
study by advantages of the same kind as those offered 
to the regular students of the day classes. It is proper 
to add that, though the schoolmasters' classes are 
merged into the general evening classes, no change 


is made in any of the conditions on which school- 
masters have hitherto been admitted to the college." 

In the session of 1858-9 the improvement which had 
been foreshadowed was to a great extent realised. The 
numbers increased from fifty-nine to one hundred and 
seven. The report says: "The large increase in the 
evening classes . . . is to be ascribed to the deve- 
lopment of this part of our scheme, referred to in the 
last report, under which the range of evening instruc- 
tion was made co-extensive with that of the ordinary 
classes." Then follows a warning not to let one year's 
success be regarded as sufficient experience to build 
enthusiastic expectations upon. The warning was 
useful, for the principal in the next session had to report 
that the numbers had fallen to seventy-seven. "A part 
of this reduction is due, no doubt, to a change in the 
regulations of the university by which membership of 
an affiliated college is no longer a necessary passport to 
a degree in arts. Hence has resulted a" great falling off 
in the number of schoolmasters attending our evening 
classes. 1 Still . . . I fear that the small propor- 
tion of the members of these classes who attend the 
annual examinations shows that our demands of work, 
and not of passive attendance merely, interferes with 
their popularity." There were at this time classes in 
English language and literature, logic, classics, mathe- 
matics, history, jurisprudence, chemistry lectures and 
laboratory natural history, and French. 

The session of 1 860-61 was important. Not only 
had the numbers of the evening classes increased 
there were ninety-two students, in addition to ten day 
students who also attended the evening classes, and a 

1 The schoolmasters' classes in University College, London, had fallen in 
numbers during a few years from sixty-seven to twenty-six in the session of 1859-60. 


class in natural philosophy had been added to the 
course there was the probability of the addition of 
certain classes which were then being conducted by 
gentlemen outside the college. The report concludes 
with the following announcement : " A scheme is under 
the consideration of the trustees for the extension and 
improvement of the evening classes. The marked 
success of the evening classes in King's College, 
London, seems to show that there is no reason why 
classes for thorough and patient study, after strict 
academical methods, offered at fitting hours and at 
very moderate fees, should not be popularly acceptable, 
in a community like this, to young men of all ranks 
whose occupations prevent their attendance in our 
ordinary classes. The details of the scheme will 
shortly be made public." 

The scheme here referred to had been brought to 
the notice of the trustees by Principal Greenwood on 
the 25th April, 1861. He said: " It is known to many 
of your numbers that Mr. Alfred Neild and I and some 
others of my colleagues have long had a share in the 
conduct of an institution called the Manchester Work- 
ing Man's College. That institution is now in this 
position : We are unable to find suitable premises at a 
moderate cost, and we begin to experience difficulty in 
securing the assistance of duly qualified teachers. It 
has appeared to some members of the council of the 
Working Man's College that the easiest and best 
solution of these difficulties would be found if the 
trustees of this college could be induced to sanction 
such a reduction of the fees charged in our evening 
classes as would bring them within the reach of men of 
very moderate means, such a reduction being made 
possible by the raising of an adequate endowment fund 


for this special purpose. The professors of Owens 
College, having had their attention called to the actual 
state of the evening classes, and their opinion invited 
on the scheme for the extension of these classes so as 
to embrace a larger number of pupils through a con- 
siderable reduction of fees this reduction to be met 
by a special endowment fund which it is proposed to 
raise under the scheme alluded to agree to the fol- 
lowing statements: I. It is desirable that there should 
be in this city a good and comprehensive series of 
evening classes, at as low a fee as may be found prac- 
ticable. 2. That the existence of several series of such 
classes in different institutions seems to them an evil, 
inasmuch as some of these classes will probably be 
attended by too few students to prove remunerative. 
3. That to raise an endowment fund to enable the fees 
to be reduced would be in no way out of keeping with 
the position of the college, as the existence of such 
classes constitutes an addition to the work of the pro- 
fessors not contemplated on the foundation of the 
college. 4. That the scale of fees charged in the 
evening classes at King's College is lower than that 
charged here, and the scale of fees at University 
College is the same as ours : that those fees are there- 
fore very considerably lower than our own, regard 
being had to the scale of fees in the ordinary day class. 
5. That if, in order to the extension of the classes, 
the introduction of supplementary teachers should 
appear desirable, there seems to the professors to be no 
objection to that step, provided that the supplementary 
teachers be named with the consent of the professor of 
each several subject. 6. These courses seem best 
confined to the winter half-year. It is therefore sug- 
gested that each professor should give a twenty weeks' 


course from October to March inclusive. If the course 
were of two lectures weekly the fee should be twenty- 
one shillings, if of one lecture ten shillings and sixpence. 
Our evening scale of fees would thus be brought very 
nearly into the same relation to our day scale as obtains 
in King's College. As most professors take more than 
one subject, it might be expedient in some cases to 
give two courses of one lecture each weekly, and in 
this latter case a supplemental teacher might be intro- 
duced for one course, at the wish and with the consent 
of the professor of the class." 1 

At a meeting of the trustees held 3Oth May, 1861, it 
was resolved : " That it appears to this meeting that a 
trial of the proposed extension of the evening classes 
might be advantageously made for two sessions, assum- 
ing as is understood that the present establishment of 
the Working Man's College will be discontinued, with 
a view to their students entering the extended classes 
at this college, and that a sufficient guarantee fund can 
be raised to provide for extra expenses to be incurred. 
That Mr. A. Neild and the principal be requested to 
confer with the managers of the Working Man's 
College on the subject, and that a special meeting be 
held to receive the report, and that the principal be 
requested at that meeting to submit the heads of a 
scheme for carrying out the proposed experiment." 

The special meeting was held on the 4th June, 1861, 
when Mr. A. Neild and the principal reported that they 
had had an interview with the council of the Working 
Man's College, and they presented a copy of resolutions 
passed at a special meeting of the council, which was 
read and considered by the trustees. [No date or 

1 For gf 7, 8, and 9, see Minute Book, ii., pp. 373-4. 


address.] Resolved: " That this meeting, having heard 
the proposals of the trustees of Owens College, cordially 
approve of the same, and pledges itself to support the 
experiment to the utmost of its power, in the belief that 
it is calculated to subserve the best interests of the 
Working Man's College, and that it will be acceptable 
to the students." "That, in pursuance of the foregoing 
resolution, the classes of the Working Man's College be 
suspended after the conclusion of the present session, 
until such time as the result of the proposed reduction 
of fees in the evening classes of Owens College shall 
have been ascertained." Whereupon a committee was 
appointed and requested to report on a scheme of 
evening classes. 

On the 1 8th of the same month, the committee pre- 
sented their report on the classes to be held and the 
fees to be paid, it being suggested that, if experience 
made it desirable, some of the classes should be dis- 
continued. The report was approved by the trustees, 
and was afterwards cordially agreed to by the council 
of the Working Man's College. The union was effected, 
and the result, at the close of a year's trial, was very 

The total number of evening students entered in the 
session 1861-2 was two hundred and thirty-five, com- 
pared with one hundred and two the year before. The 
classes were conducted by the following lecturers: 
Logic, mental and moral philosophy, Professor A. J. 
Scott, M.A.; English language and literature, Rev. W. 
Gaskell, M.A. ; classics, Professor Greenwood, B.A., 
Mr. F. W. Walker, M.A., Mr. R. M. Pankhurst, LL B., 
Mr. Thomas Watson, B.A.; mathematics, Professor 
Sandeman, M.A., Rev. H. Cottam, B.A.; natural philo- 
sophy, Professor Clifton, M.A. ; history and political 


economy, Professor Christie, M.A.; chemistry, Professor 
Roscoe, B. A. ; natural history, Professor Williamson, 
F.R.S.; French, M. Podevin ; German, Mr. T. 

The origin of the movement, which had such a happy 
termination, was as under: 1 In the year 1858 a number 
of gentlemen set on foot a Working Man's College in 
Manchester. Their object was to afford to artisans 
and other wage-earning workmen an opportunity of 
acquiring, at a very moderate cost, instruction of a 
sound and fundamental character in the several branches 
of a liberal education. For three years the experiment 
was carried on successfully, when difficulties arose as to 
a suitable place of meeting and as to funds; and the 
committee, earnestly desiring to carry on the scheme 
as a permanent arrangement without sacrificing its 
thoroughness, invited the trustees of Owens College to 
make such modifications in their plan of evening classes 
as would enable all or nearly all of those who had sought 
the benefit of the Manchester Working Man's College 
to enter the classes of Owens College. The trustees, 
as has been shown, regarded the suggestion with 
approval ; the classes were subdivided to meet the 
requirements of the new order of students, and gentle- 
men from outside co-operated with the regular staff of 
the college in the course of teaching. 

In referring to these important changes, the report 
says: "We do not, any more than we ever did, offer 
merely elementary instruction, or profess to impart to 
listeners merely a superficial, or, as the phrase is, a 
popular sketch of the several branches of literature or 
science. We address ourselves to none but workers; 

1 Calendar for the Session 1862-3, P- 57- 


to men who value the mastery, or the attempt to win a 
mastery, over some portions of a few subjects, more 
than a showy acquaintance with the outside of many 
subjects. Our classes are adapted, therefore, (i) to 
those who have from the first formed so important a 
section of the students, schoolmasters who desire to 
carry their studies to a more advanced stage; (2) to 
large classes of young men who, possessed already of 
the elements of a liberal education, are anxious to build 
upon that foundation, but are prevented by business 
occupations from doing this during the day ; and (3) to 
a select body among artisans, who covet the oppor- 
tunity of obtaining a higher training than is generally 
to be found in institutions expressly designed for 

It will be well here to glance at the history of the 
movement which resulted in bringing such a large 
additional number of students to the evening classes at 
Owens College. Institutions for the special benefit of 
"working men" mechanics' institutions, lyceums, 
athenaeums, etc., etc. had been in existence for many 
years, but their aim was to amuse as well as ta inform, 
and there was rarely to be found anything like a sys- 
tematic course of instruction adapted to the wants of 
adults. The Rev. F. D. Maurice 1 had been greatly 
impressed with the letters which had appeared in the 
Morning- Chronicle on " London Labour and the 
London Poor." He said, in the spring of 1850, 
' Those letters have set us all grieving, thinking, and 
I hope in some measure acting." His wish was to see 
organisations of working men, who, combining toge- 
ther, could follow their calling and share the profits 

1 Life of Frederick Denison Maurice, by his Son, London, 1^84, ii., p. 35. 


from the sale of their work. But he had to avoid what 
was then known as socialism. "Our great desire," 
said he, "is to Christianise socialism." He assisted 
working men of different trades to form " working 
men's associations," the principles and rules of which 
were set forth in one of his Tracts on Christian 
Socialism. Their aim was: ist. To make those co- 
operative associations succeed. 2nd. There was what 
might be called the Christian-Socialist view par excel- 
lence. Those who took that view desired to reconsti- 
tute society on the basis of cooperation as a great 
Christian and true social principle, and to banish out of 
society everything which opposed itself to those prin- 
ciples. 1 3rd. Maurice found it declared as a principle 
that selfishness was the basis of society and the law of 
the universe. He eagerly accepted "cooperation" as a 
practical protest against that assumption. He main- 
tained that all great work that had been done had been 
achieved by the mutual cooperation of men ; and it 
had been where selfishness had intruded itself that 
" rottenness and mischief had followed in its train." 

Filled with these thoughts, it was when he was about 
to leave King's College he projected a new develop- 
ment. On December 27th, 1853, he met a large body 
of working men, and, in addressing them, he said he 
hoped "that he might not find it a fall to cease to be a 
professor at King's College and to become the principal 
of a Working Man's College." 2 In this idea he had 
been forestalled. He gathered friends together to pro- 
mote his scheme of a college. These friends a little 
earlier (than 1854) had heard of a People's College, 
which had been established at Sheffield, in 1842, by an 

1 Life, etc., ii. 40-1. * Life, ii. 221. 


Independent minister, Mr. Bayley. 1 At a meeting of 
the London friends, held in January, 1854, a letter was 
read, giving an account of the origin and history of this 
college. At the close of the reading, it was resolved to 
"refer it to a committee to frame, and, so far as they 
thought fit, to carry out, a plan for the establishment of 
a People's College in connection with the metropolitan 
associations." After several meetings of the committee, 
Maurice undertook to prepare a scheme. 

It is not the business of this book to trace the history 
of the movement in London ; suffice it to say that it was 
successful ; that no religious test was imposed or asked 
for; and that "very much of the practical success of the 
experiment depended on the fact that a large body of 
the workers forming a nucleus within it consisted of 
those men who had long been gathered round" Mr. 
Maurice, many of them looking up to him as their 
spiritual guide. 

1 Life, ii. 232. The story of this effort is very touching, and is to be found in 
The Working Men's College Magazine, No. 4, p. 7 1 - '-The People's College at 
Sheffield appears to have been originated by the Rev. R. S. Bayley, an Independent 
minister then residing in the town. In his prospectus, he stated it "to be his con- 
viction that the mechanics' institutions generally had fallen far short in their efforts 
at popular education, and that the time was come when studies of a higher range, 
and more likely to be really useful, ought to be placed within the reach of the 
youth of the middle and working classes." He proposed to establish classes for 
ancient and modern languages, mathematics, logic, elocution, drawing, and English 
literature. The classes were to be held before and after the hours of labour. The 
morning classes were held between 6-30 and 7-30, and the evening between 7-30 
and 9-30. Women were admitted to the classes, although many doubts as to the 
propriety of this step were felt. "But," says the report, "Mr. Bayley thought 
that the men and women who had sufficient aspiration and self-denial to engage in 
the work of their own education would not be the people to frustrate their own 
efforts, by levity or indiscretion. Experience has amply proved that, so far from 
the admission of women into classes, under proper restrictions, having an injurious 
effect upon instruction and discipline, a very opposite one is produced, an increased 
degree of decorum and self-respect being exhibited by both sexes. " The classes 
continued to be held successfully under most unfavourable conditions, until 1848, 
when, in the autumn of that year, Mr. Bayley removed to London, and the college 
fell to a very low ebb, but was afterwards resuscitated. 


It was to be expected that a movement which was taken 
up and carried on with so much success in London should 
be imitated in Manchester. Principal Scott, Messrs. 
Greenwood and Roscoe, had commenced evening 
classes in 1852, and it is therefore natural to find the 
professors of Owens College among the warm supporters 
of the movement in Manchester. A working man's 
college was inaugurated at the Mechanics' Institution, 
Manchester, in January, 1858; the committee of 
management consisting of: Rev. G. H. G. Anson, 
M.A., R. C. Christie, M.A., J. Cottingham, B.A., Rev. 
W. Gaskell, M.A., J. G. Greenwood, B.A., F. Guthrie, 
B.A., Ph.D., Oliver Heywood, W. H. Houldsworth, 
E. R. Langworthy, Alfred Neild, Rev. Alfred Newth, 
A. Ransome, B.A., M.R.C.S., Rev. Canon Richson, 
M.A.; Samuel Robinson, H. E. Roscoe, B.A., Ph.D., 
A. Sandeman, M.A., A. J. Scott, M.A., R. Angus 
Smith, Ph.D., F.R.S., Isaac Taylor, Thos. Turner, 
F.R.C.S. Hon. secretary : Professor Greenwood. 

A circular was issued in which it was stated that 
mechanics' institutions had been founded to give an 
opportunity to workmen to improve themselves, but 
that the training was attractive rather than systematic 
and thorough, and was generally quite elementary. 
There was also a want of fellowship in these institutions. 
"A college implies," says the circular, "that its members 
are associated by an interest in some common aim ; that 
not the advantage of the individual alone is dear to each, 
but that of the whole society; and that this common 
good is furthered by a hearty fellow-feeling among the 
members. On the existence of this fellowship in our 
society we count as on one of the most powerful means 
of keeping alive a manly thirst for knowledge; of 
stimulating a healthy and generous emulation in the 



pursuit of it ; and of correcting, by the lights which the 
thoughts and acquirements of one are sure to throw on 
those of another, the one-sidedness and half-knowledge 
which solitary studies are in danger of producing." The 
following was the scheme of studies for the first term : 


Scheme of studies for the first term, from Monday, January the 
nth, to Wednesday, March the 3ist, 1858. 



Mon, 7-30 8-30 p.m. Arithmetic and algebra 



Principles of mechanics 
English language and] 

English history - 
Common law 
Political economy - 

Human physiology - 
Political philosophy 
Physical geography - 
Bible class - 

- I 


Mr. Sandeman. 
Mr. Newth. 

Mr. Gaskell. 

Dr. Guthrie. 
Mr. Christie. 
Dr. Smith. 
Mr. Cottingham. 
Mr. Neild. 
Mr. Greenwood. 
Mr. A. Ransome. 
Mr. Scott. 
Dr. Roscoe. 
Mr. Greenwood. 

-3 9-3 
Wed. 7-30 8-30 

Thurs. 7-308-30 

Fri. 7-308-30 


Sun. 3-0 4-0 

Students must be sixteen years of age, must be able to read and 
write, and must know the first four rules of arithmetic. No class 
will be formed for less than six students, unless at the desire of the 
teacher. Each student will pay a permanent entrance fee of two 
shillings and sixpence, not to be renewed after absence. The fee for 
each course occupying one hour weekly will be two shillings for the 
term of about ten weeks, to be paid in advance. Admission to the 
Bible class will be free to all members of the college. Free admis- 
sion will be given to all the lectures of the first week, which will be 
introductory to the several courses. The classes will be conducted 
in the rooms of the Mechanics' Institution. 

The college was opened with an inaugural address by 
Principal Scott. 


The second term commenced on April I4th, and 
lasted till June 22nd. Mr. J. Edwards, barrister, and 
Rev. J. A. Picton, M.A., had been added to the 
council; Mr. Alfred Neild had become treasurer; and 
Mr. J. H. Nodal assistant secretary. 

On the evening of April i4th, a general meeting of 
the council and students was held, and was numerously 
attended. The object of the meeting was to afford an 
opportunity to the teachers to state and explain the 
subjects to be taught during the term then commenced. 
Professor Greenwood, the honorary secretary, announced 
the results of the previous session, which had lasted ten 
weeks. The number of students who had passed the 
preliminary examination was two hundred and forty-five, 
and of these two hundred and thirty entered one or 
more of the classes. They were distributed as follows : 

Arithmetic and algebra - 98 

English literature 95 

Latin - - 62 

Chemistry - 58 

Geometry - 39 

Mechanics 38 

English history - 37 

Physical geography - 31 

Political philosophy - 24 

Physiology 20 

Political economy - - 9 

Common law - 8 

The actual attendance of students had been as regular 
as could have been expected, the average being sixty- 
five per cent of all those who had entered any class. 
This, compared with similar colleges, was a higher 
attendance than usual. 

It is interesting to read the trade classification of the 
students. There were of 


Operatives 80 

Clerks and bookkeepers - - 60 

Warehousemen and salesmen 52 

Shopkeepers and shop assistants - 20 

Miscellaneous employments 30 

This proportion seemed to be similar to that of the 
Working Men's College in London. 

At the public meeting introductory to the session of 
1858-9 regret had to be expressed in a falling off of 
numbers, especially of the "operative" students. Pro- 
fessor Scott, in addressing the meeting, claimed the 
title of " college " as being the truest definition of the 
institution. Some were disposed to sneer and to ask 
where was the Eton, or the Harrow, to prepare the 
students for the college ? He said there was no inten- 
tion to prepare the students at such high-class schools, 
" but there was a principle involved in the idea of a 
university or college ; and it was the training of the mind 
to those habits which shall be afterwards available in 
the application of earnest thought to whatever subject 
the man shall desire to prosecute." 

At the first annual meeting in January, 1859, when 
there were present (inter alia) Rev. F. D. Maurice, 
Messrs. Tom Hughes, Vernon Lushington, and S. Greg, 
Mr. O. Hey wood said there were about five hundred 
members and fifty teachers in the three colleges. "The 
college in Ancoats was the first established, and its 
chief difficulty was to keep up a sufficient number of 
teachers ; the numbers to be taught were steadily 
increasing. The Manchester College was next formed, 
with an excellent staff of teachers, the professors at 
Owens College rendering most valuable assistance. 
The work was then undertaken in Salford, with great 
zeal, and had been attended with great success." The 
Ancoats district had a population of some seventy-seven 


thousand persons, and in it were situated most of the 
cotton mills, foundries, machine and engine works. 
The college was held in the schoolroom of St. Andrew's 
Church. The college there commenced January 27th, 
1857. The Salford college commenced with one 
hundred students, and rose to one hundred and ninety 
before the session closed. 

At the second annual meeting of the Manchester 
College, held July, 1860, regret was felt at the con- 
tinued falling off of the operative class of students ; 
but, on the other hand, satisfaction was expressed at 
the large proportion of students who had continued at 
the college from its opening. On the whole there was 
much to encourage. The report said : " The college 
was not intended to inform working men upon the 
special subjects of their trades, nor to assist them to 
be better workmen except so far as this followed, as it 
assuredly would, from their being better men." It did 
not intend to take working men from their proper 
sphere of duty, nor to give them a distaste for their 
work; it hoped that the institution would shortly grow 
up "into a working man's college worthy of the name; 
that it might be a Christian brotherhood a body, with 
many members; men brought together by the common 
objects of systematic study, united by the firm bonds 
of good fellowship, and animated by a hearty zeal in 
the cause of their Alma Mater. 

This was the last report issued. At the opening of 
the next term in October, the first of a new year, there 
was a numerous attendance and much enthusiasm. 
The need of a permanent home was felt, and it was 
stated in the meeting that suitable premises were being 
sought for. During the following summer the classes 
were absorbed into the Owens College. 


COLLEGE HISTORY, 1861-2 1864-5. 

" The beginning of civilisation is the discovery of some useful arts . . . the 
origin, as well as the progress, and improvement of civil society is founded in 
mechanical and chemical inventions. The comparison of savage and civilised man 
demonstrates the triumph of chemical and mechanical philosophy as the causes not 
only of physical, but ultimately even of moral improvement." Sir H. DAVY, 
Consolations in Travel, p. 242, fifth edition. 

T F it be true that a state is happy which has no 
-*- history, the condition of the college must have 
been one of great felicity for the next three sessions. 
The few records which appear in the minute books of 
the trustees and of college meetings indicate quiet 
progress, but have nothing heroic about them. The 
number of students steadily increased, and by and by 
was to become a serious, whilst a pleasing, cause of 
disturbance to trustees and professors. 

In the beginning of 1862 the professors of logic, 
chemistry, natural philosophy, and classics commenced 
extra courses of lectures (without extra fees) to aid 
students preparing for matriculation, and to meet some 
other felt wants. The pleasing feature was that the 
proposal originated with the students themselves, and 
the facilities offered were industriously used. 

Hitherto the annual reports and prospectuses had 
been issued as loose pamphlets : their circulation was 
limited, and they were soon lost. It was felt that the 
time had come when it would be more in accordance 


with the dignity of the college to issue an official 
volume; it was therefore resolved that a college calen- 
dar for the session 1862-3 be prepared under the 
direction of the principal, and be published for sale 
among the students. 

So early as 1853 Principal Scott had recommended 
the appointment of a college tutor or tutors, as the 
students were insufficiently prepared for entrance ; in 
1858 it was announced that one would be appointed if a 
sufficient number of students applied for assistance, but 
as only two students appeared the plan was abandoned. 
In the autumn of 1862 the idea was revived, and the 
principal and professors were requested to report 
whether it was desirable and practicable to appoint a 
tutor. In the following summer a selection was made 
which conferred honour upon the college: Mr. William 
Stanley Jevons, M.A. and gold medallist of London 
University, accepted the position of tutor, to become 
presently professor of logic and mental philosophy. 

The increasing number of the students brought very 
prominently before the professors an evil which existed 
in the classification of the men. A discussion had 
taken place upon a statement read by the principal as 
to the length of time spent at the college by the 
students and the number of them who could be called 
regular as contrasted with occasional students. After 
the discussion it was unanimously resolved : " That 
while the principle on which the division of students 
into regular and occasional was based is well worthy to 
be preserved, it appears from the experience of the 
last four years that the machinery for giving effect to 
that principle has signally failed in procuring, on the 
part of regular students, a prolonged and more sys- 
tematic course of study." 


COLLEGE HISTORY, 1861-2 1864-5. 239 

The professors proposed that two courses of study 
should be instituted the arts course and the science 
course, as qualifying for the degrees of B.A. and B.Sc., 
respectively: each course to be of three years' duration. 
They felt that the great difficulty they had in adapting 
their courses of study to the requirements of candidates 
for the degrees of B.A. and B.Sc. lay in this that the 
professor of natural history, being charged with four 
subjects, namely, botany, geology (including palaeon- 
tology), zoology, and animal physiology, was able to 
give the complete course but once in two years. 
Hence it would repeatedly happen that a student 
requiring animal physiology (ex. gr.) in the year 1 864 
would find that that subject had been given in 1863, 
and would be given again in 1865, too late for his 
needs. This great defect could be in part remedied 
for students in arts ; but not at all for the students in 
science, for whom these subjects were of so much 
greater importance. The only way to meet the diffi- 
culty was for the professor to give both courses of 
lectures in one year or to divide the chair and appoint 
a second professor. This led to a discussion on the 
expediency of advising the trustees to introduce a 
course of lectures on civil engineering. Professor 
Clifton prepared a report on the subject, which was 
received and entered on the minutes, but was not then 
adopted. It will come up later when the subject was 

At the January (1863) meeting of the trustees, the 
principal had the pleasing duty of reporting a continually 
increasing number of students. There were of day 
students, one hundred; evening students, two hundred 
and eighty-five; total, three hundred and eighty-five. 
These were respectable numbers, and as the quality 


was satisfactory, it was but natural that some joyous 
anticipations should be indulged, and some strong 
views asserted. The principal thought the time had 
come when the responsibility of holding matriculation 
examinations should be borne by Owens College itself. 
Hitherto it had, at least nominally, been shared with 
other colleges, schools, and private persons. The 
advantage to the college, if it took up the matter itself, 
would be that the proceedings would be simplified, and 
that the college would obtain whatever credit might 
accrue from being the representative of the university 
in Manchester and its neighbourhood. It had often 
been said that the North of England should have a 
university of its own, and that Owens College should 
look forward to develop some day into such a univer- 
sity. These would seem bold utterances. The worthy 
principal himself appears to have been startled at his 
own suggestion, for he says, "I do not think the time 
has yet come for any such step," but he did think that 
the time might come, and that the slowly but steadily 
increasing numbers should give the college some claim. 
Meanwhile, he thought it very expedient that by quietly 
identifying the local university examinations with the 
college buildings and organisation, it would accustom 
people to look upon them as having a tangible university 
character. Principal Greenwood was far too wise to 
suppose that mere numbers would ensure attention to 
the claims for university recognition ; he knew that 
it was requisite to have competent endowments, a 
complete curriculum, and a sufficient staff of teachers. 
But he could speak boldly and prophetically, because 
he had a staff of admirable professors, and he had 
faith in the Manchester people to provide the means 
when the necessity arose. The year closed with the 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1861-2 1864-5. 241 

formation of a drawing class, and Mr. William Walker 
was appointed its teacher. It also left its sign that 
other changes must come erelong the professors had 
a "conversation on the subject of the insufficient or 
unsuitable accommodation furnished by the college 
buildings." It was agreed that the fact of this conversa- 
tion should be recorded on the minutes, and that the 
subject should be more fully discussed at a later meeting. 

On the 4th April, 1864, Alderman William Neild 
died suddenly. He was the last of the acting trustees 
appointed by the will of the founder, and had been 
their chairman since the resignation of that office by 
Mr. Faulkner, the first chairman. The trustees unani- 
mously requested Mr. Alfred Neild to occupy the 
position which his father had filled so well, and he has 
continued to act as chairman and treasurer, first to the 
trustees and afterwards to the council, with unwearied 
zeal, to the present time. The number of trustees 
having been reduced by death and resignation, it became 
necessary to elect new ones, and the following additions 
were made to the existing list: J. M. Bennett (mayor 
of Manchester), Edward Ovens (chairman of quarter 
sessions), R. D. Darbishire, Rev. Canon Gibson, Murray 
Gladstone, John Edward Taylor, Eason Wilkinson, 
M.D., John Robinson, Edward Hardcastle. 

The college had again increased its number of 
students, slightly in the day classes, but very largely in 
the evening classes. This prosperity led the professors 
to think that the time had come when the evening 
classes should be self-supporting. They had hitherto 
depended to some extent upon the benevolence of the 
public, who contributed annual payments. The pro- 
fessors, therefore, suggested that the fees should be 
raised from ten shillings and sixpence for each com- 


plete class attended to fifteen shillings ; that a class 
should be considered complete in which fifteen students 
had entered, but that if a professor chose he might 
form a class with a smaller number, he in that case to 
take all the fees. There were some other small matters 
suggested, and the report as presented by the pro- 
fessors was accepted by the trustees at their June 
meeting. It was very gratifying to find at the opening 
of the following session that although the increase in 
the amount of fees had been made the number of 
students had not fallen off, but was slightly larger. 
This number three hundred and thirteen gratifying 
as it was, brought with it its disadvantages. Several 
of the class rooms were inconveniently full, and the 
laboratory became so crowded that Professor Roscoe 
had great difficulty in allotting places. The professors 
began to realise that they had to work in a building 
which had not been designed for the purposes of a 
college, and that, however strong their associations 
were with a place that had witnessed so much success, 
and to which they had become greatly attached, there 
were other considerations which ought to weigh with 
them and with the trustees. 

The principal again (November 24th, 1864) drew 
attention to the overburdening of the chair of natural 
history and its attendant evils. The professor had still 
the charge of four subjects, each a great one in itself. 
The professors felt it their duty to remind the trustees 
that the new regulations of London University for the 
degree of B.A. and B.Sc. required that all the subjects 
taught in the natural history class should be gone 
through in each session instead of in two sessions as 
was then their practice. The existing arrangements 
were a serious drawback to the students and were unfair 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1861-2 1864-5, 243 

to the professor ; the remedy for the defect was to allow 
the professor to give double courses of lectures. The 
trustees requested the professors to advise them as to 
the best course to be adopted to meet the disadvantages 
complained of. In response the professors recommended 
that there should be such an addition made to the income 
of the professor of natural history as would enable him 
to double the number of his lectures or that an additional 
professor should be engaged to lecture on geology and 
botany. They preferred the first of these suggestions 
as incurring a smaller expenditure of money and because 
the several subjects would be treated on a uniform and 
harmonious plan. Further, Professor Williamson had 
gathered together a large collection of specimens to 
illustrate his lectures, and it could scarcely be expected 
that these would be available if the chair was divided 
between two professors. This suggestion was adopted 
in the spring of the following year, and it was arranged 
that Mr. Williamson was to give six instead of three 
lectures weekly. 

The attention of the trustees was called to a rumour 
that the future disposal of the museum of the Natural 
History Society was under consideration by the council 
of the society, and that its transfer to the charge of 
Owens College upon certain conditions was not wholly 
impossible. The professors expressed their conviction 
that it would be impossible to exaggerate the value of 
such an association to the science classes of Owens 
College. It was mentioned that an offer of the property 
had been made to the corporation of Manchester, never- 
theless it was resolved that the chairman and Mr. J. E. 
Taylor be appointed to make inquiries, and to watch 
any proceedings which might take place in respect to 
the disposal of the museum. 


In 1864, Professor Scott advocated the expediency of 
occasionally inviting competition for prizes offered for 
excellence in special branches of study not immediately 
a part of the class work of the session. His offer of a 
special prize was supplemented by a similar offer from 
the principal, who pointed out "that the more advanced 
students are thus invited to carry their studies into 
collateral subjects, and are thus guarded against the 
temptation, very strong to a clever youth, of narrowing 
their attention to one particular line which they think 
will best lead them to success in aiming at the ordinary 
class prizes." While this subject was still fresh a wel- 
come intimation came from Mrs. Shuttleworth, stating 
her intention, in fulfilment of the wish of her late hus- 
band, John Shuttleworth, Esq., to place at the disposal 
of the trustees a sum of money sufficient to found a 
scholarship of ^50 yearly, to promote the study of 
political economy, and requesting the trustees to con- 
sider the offer and submit a scheme for the proposed 
foundation. The trustees accepted the offer gratefully, 
and assured Mrs. Shuttleworth "that no pains would 
be spared by the authorities of the college to frame a 
scheme which should answer the views expressed in Mrs. 
Shuttleworth's letter, and worthily perpetuate the name 
of one so deservedly respected as her late husband." 
This scholarship has been very valuable to the college. 

The attention of the trustees was now called to the 
very serious condition of the college and the physical 
injuries which professors and students alike suffered 
from the smallness of the rooms. The increase in the 
number of students was : 

Session. Day. Evening. Total. 

1859-60 ... 57 77 ... 134 
1860-1 ... 69 ... 102 ... 171 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1861-2 1864-5. 245 

Session. Day. Evening. Total. 

1861-2 ... 88 ... 235 323 

1862-3 ... 108 ... 287 ... 395 
1863-4 ... no ... 312 .., 422 
1864-5 I2 7 3 12 439 

At their meeting, held January 25th, 1865, they re- 
solved: "That the chairman, with Messrs. Gladstone, 
Hardcastle, Taylor, and Darbishire, be nominated a 
committee to take into consideration the question of 
providing new buildings for the college in connection 
with a suggestion that the college should undertake the 
charge of the Natural History Society's museum: And 
that they be authorised to make inquiries as to the 
probability of inducing certain other influential institu- 
tions in Manchester to take part in a joint scheme." 
The principal and professors were also " requested to 
consider and report their views as to the extent and 
nature of the accommodation required for the purposes 
of the college, having regard to its increased and in- 
creasing operation, and to offer any suggestions as to 
the establishing of relations with other institutions with 
a view to the common relation of all." The questions 
so referred to the professors were discussed at consider- 
able length, after which they unanimously resolved that 
in their opinion an absolute necessity had arisen for 
providing new college buildings. They drew up a 
statement which they laid before the trustees; the sub- 
stance of which was printed for the use of the trustees 
only. It was, of course, intended to be used judiciously 
by the trustees in an appeal to the public for help, but 
the insanitary condition of the class rooms was kept 
back, lest an alarm should be raised among the students 
and their parents. All this is a thing of the past, and 
there is no need to suppress any portion of the report; 
indeed, it will more thoroughly justify the trustees and 


their friends in the bold step they afterwards took in 
breaking away from their surroundings, and in building 
a college elsewhere on a very much larger scale. The 
reader may judge for himself what was the condition of 
the old building, when the college, with three hundred 
and thirty-four day and five hundred and fifty-seven 
evening students in 1873, was removed, if it was so 
thoroughly unhealthy in 1865 with a total of four hun- 
dred and thirty-nine students. 

Professor Clifton reported to the principal on the 
condition of his the natural philosophy class room as 
follows: "The cubic content of my lecture room is 
somewhat under five thousand two hundred cubic feet, 
and the number of persons for whom air is required 
during the lecture is forty-nine. Now each person 
requires for respiration, etc., five cubic feet of pure air 
per minute, or three hundred cubic feet of air per hour. 
This allowance is, I believe, the minimum quantity 
consistent with health and comfort for a lecture room in 
which the person remains but a short time, and is very 
much below the allowance necessary for a person 
remaining in a room for a long time, as for instance 
living in it. Thus, for the hour's consumption we 
require in my room 49 x 300 = 14,700 cubic feet, so 
that the matter stands thus : demand, 14,700; supply, 
5,200. No doubt more air can be and is obtained by 
ventilation; but it is, I am sure, impossible to obtain in 
such a room as mine a supply equal to nearly twice the 
contents of the room in an hour without through 
draughts. I have done all in my power to ventilate the 
room, and have much improved the condition, but the 
result is a draught such that some students find it 
necessary to wear great coats. In order to give an idea 
of the state of the room which actually exists, I give 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1861-2 1864-5. 247 

the following determinations as to the quantity of car- 
bonic acid in the air before and after a lecture, made 
under the direction of Professor Roscoe : 

% carb. acid in air. 

Before lecture - 0^05 

After lecture : 

At bottom of room - 0*29 

At top of room - 0-37 

These would give for the percentage of carbonic acid in 
the air about at the level of the heads of the students 
from 0*32 to 0*33. Now when it is remembered that 
the maximum of carbonic acid present in the air con- 
sistent with health is found to represent a percentage 
of only 0*07, some idea of the state of my room at the 
end of a lecture can be formed. I have hitherto men- 
tioned only the consumption of the class, but we are 
frequently compelled to have ten gas jets burning, 
either from the darkness of the day or from the neces- 
sity for lecture purposes of alternately darkening and 
lighting up the room; and again the gas is essential to 
the proper action of the ventilators. Now it is com- 
puted that these ten gas jets will throw into the air of 
the room fifty cubic feet of carbonic acid in the hour; 
as this represents one per cent of the air in the room, 
the ventilation cannot be inefficient which reduces the 
maximum percentage (derived from all sources) to 0*37. 
The organic matter thrown into the air by the body is 
most injurious is, in fact, a direct poison and this is 
proportionate to the amount of carbonic acid which the 
body evolves in the same time. These facts will show 
that my lecture room gets into a state, not only de- 
structive of efficient study, but most injurious to health. 
When, as upon many occasions is absolutely necessary, 
I have to use a galvanic battery in- the lecture, the 


presence of a small quantity of the vapour arising 
from it has compelled students to leave the class room 

The condition of Professor Williamson's room was 
very unsatisfactory, but not so bad as that of his col- 
league. The cubic contents of the room were 4,600 
cubic feet, and the number of persons for whom air was 
required during lecture was twenty-four. Hence 24 x 
300=7,200 against supply 4,600. 

Professor Roscoe reported on the chemical condition 
of some of the class rooms, and stated that according 
to the best authorities the air of a room ought not to 
contain more than seven volumes of carbonic acid per 
ten thousand, in order that respiration should be healthily 
carried on. He, however, pointed out how much in excess 
of this limit the following rooms in the college were, : 

1. Professor Clifton's lecture room: 

(a) Before lecture, 5 volumes per 10,000. 
() After lecture : 

Top of room, 37 volumes per 10,000. 
Bottom of room, 29 volumes per 10,000. 

The temperature of the room before lecture was 9 centigrade; after 
lecture, i8'2. The number of persons present was forty-six. 

2. Chemical theatre : Volume of carbonic acid after lecture = 

24 in 10,000. Number of persons present, fifty. 

3. Professor Greenwood's lecture room : Carbonic acid = 14 in 

10,000. Junior Latin, thirty-two persons present. 

4. Junior Latin evening class, carbonic acid=i6 in 10,000. 

The printed report stated the interesting fact that 
the total number of students (four hundred and thirty- 
nine) then being taught in the classes of the college 
was a number somewhat greater than the total number 
of students (four hundred and eighteen) in University 
College London, in the year 1862-3, tne latest year of 
which returns had then been obtained, in the faculties 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1861-2 1864-5. 249 

of arts, medicine, and the evening classes. " It would 
probably be found that in no institution of the kind in 
the kingdom are so many persons under instruction in 
so confined a space " as at Owens College. 

The report considered the subject under the following 
heads: I. Of the necessity for increased accommoda- 
tion: (a) As regards the ordinary work of the classes; 
(6) As regards examinations; (c] As regards library 
and museums ; (d] As regards certain extensions of the 
course. II. Of the amount of accommodation needed. 
III. Of the expediency of negotiations with other public 
bodies, with a view to some association for the common 
advantage of all. IV. Of the question of site. 

I. (a] At the opening of the college in October, 
1851, the number of the students was sixty-two; it fell 
to thirty-three, but had increased to one hundred and 
twenty-seven at the date of the report. During the same 
interval the number of separate classes had increased 
from fifteen to thirty-two. The class rooms were too 
few, and most of them much too small. In two classes, 
that of mechanics and that of practical chemistry, " it is 
literally true that there is not room for one additional 
student, and the numbers now accommodated in these 
classes are provided for only by makeshifts." The 
professors were greatly inconvenienced as to the lecture 
rooms. The chemical laboratory, which was constructed 
to contain thirty-nine students, had to accommodate 
forty-eight day and thirteen evening students, or a total 
of sixty-one. There was great deficiency of space in 
the store room, balance and apparatus rooms, and in 
accommodation for hats and coats. Under this head, the 
report concluded by stating that it was not too much to 
affirm that the utmost limit of success had been attained 
of which the existing buildings would admit. That an 


impression might get abroad that the conditions favour- 
able to study were not to be found in the college, and 
this might cause a decline as steady as the growth had 
been ; and not to go forward, would be to go backward. 
(b] As regarded examinations, it was well known that 
some of the large towns desired them, but so far Owens 
College alone had had the complete series of degree 
examinations. It would be unwise to lose the start they 
had gained in this matter, but to hold examinations 
successfully a spacious hall was necessary. Of the great 
value of local examinations there could be no question, 
as so much time and expense would be saved to the 
students, (c] The space available for the collections of 
natural history, chemical products, and apparatus for 
natural philosophy was insufficient, and would not admit 
of any increase. The room adapted as a library would 
about hold the books, but was ill adapted for study, and 
altogether insufficient for public or anniversary meetings. 
(d] A report had been laid before the trustees in 1863, 
recommending the addition to the college of a school 
of civil engineering. Although favourably received, it 
was mainly set aside because there was no room in the 
building for the proposed extension, and it was thought 
an unfavourable time to appeal to the public for sub- 
scriptions. It was plain that there should be found in 
the north of England some one central school of civil 
engineering, surveying, architecture, and mining. It 
might be said that Owens College already contained a 
nucleus of a very efficient school of those branches of 
art and science, and such a school attached to the college 
would be warmly welcomed not only by Manchester, 
but by the many populous and busy towns which look 
upon Manchester as their head; and it would give a 
hold on those towns which would react beneficially on 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1861-2-1864-5. 251 

the other branches of the college. Owens College 
could not expect to rival the ancient universities in the 
study of literature and mathematics, but it might aspire 
to be the first school of applied and experimental science 
in the country. But for the establishment of such a 
school, more space was the first requisite. 

II. The professors of science presented a report on 
the amount of room they would require for class rooms, 
laboratories, museums, etc., but as this was greatly 
exceeded in the new buildings, it is not necessary to 
reproduce their suggestion. 

III. The professors thought it would be desirable, 
on many grounds, to seek to combine some of the 
leading literary and scientific institutions of Manchester 
in an effort to procure a large and imposing range of 
buildings, in which they might all find a place. This 
was afterwards in part accomplished by the absorption 
of the natural history and the geological societies' 
collections, and by the union of the medical school. 

IV. On the question of site, the advantages of the 
actual site were : ( i ) there would be no necessity to 
buy all the land that would be needed for a new build- 
ing, and if some of the neighbouring land could be 
obtained sufficient space would be secured at a moderate 
cost ; (2) the site was not unfavourably placed as 
regarded railway stations. On the other hand, there 
were objections to it : (i) its position was low in refer- 
ence to the levels of drainage in the city ; (2) the 
immediate neighbourhood to the north and east was of 
the most disreputable character ; (3) it did not lie on or 
near any great leading thoroughfare. The report went 
on to say that there was no prospect of a thoroughfare 
being made to Salford, and that a suggested railway 
running parallel to Deansgate would effectually cut off 


Owens College from the better parts of the town. In 
this the writers of the report were mistaken the railway 
was not made, the thoroughfare to Salford was. 

I f a new site had to be selected, the question would 
arise between one in the centre of the town and one 
in the suburbs. In favour of the first view were (i) 
the convenience of those living in the majority of 
suburbs and the nearness to railway stations ; (2) the 
facility of association with other institutions. Against 
a central site was (i) the enormous cost of sufficient 
land ; (2) its disadvantage in respect of light and air ; 
and, it might have been added, of noise. By suburban 
it was meant a site within easy distance of the centre of 
the city and of the principal railway stations, and not 
unfavourably placed as regarded any of the principal 
suburbs. A table was prepared showing in what pro- 
portions the students came from the several quarters of 
Manchester. The town was divided as follows : 

A District Bounded by Market Street and Oldham Street, and 
including Cheetham Hill, Broughton, the omnibuses entering 
by that district, and the railway routes via Victoria Station. 
B District Bounded by Oldham Street and London Road, inclu- 
ding Harpurhey, Smedley Lane, and the omnibuses entering by 
Oldham Street. 
C District Hulme, Old Trafford, Whalley Range, Greenheys, and 

railway routes via Oxford Road Station. 
D District Ardwick, Longsight, Victoria Park, Rusholme, Plymouth 

Grove, and railway routes via London Road Station. 
E District Salford, Pendleton, and railway routes via New Bailey 

A District - 43 

B do. 7 

C do. - 29 

D do. 38 

E do. - 10 

Total - - 127 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1861-2 1864-5. 253 

From this it will be seen that the combined numbers of 
C and D greatly exceeded those of any other two dis- 
tricts, and this afterwards led to the choice of the Oxford 
Road site. The committee of trustees resolved that 
the report was in their view so valuable as to render it 
desirable to have the substance of it printed for the use 
of the trustees, and eventually for such further circula- 
tion as might be deemed expedient. 

The year 1865 was not favourable to the trade of 
Manchester and district. The steady rise of prices 
during the previous three years, by which holders of 
stocks had made much money, was arrested; and there 
was a loss to those who had to buy the raw material 
and manufacture it into goods. In the autumn came 
rumours of peace between the contending forces of 
North and South. Prices of goods fell rapidly and 
much money was lost. With the renewal of hostilities 
prices once more rose, almost as rapidly as they had 
fallen. It was speedily found that the strength of the 
Southern States was exhausted; that probably cotton 
and other commodities would be released from their 
long embargo, and that the values of stocks at home 
would diminish. With this dismal prospect prices fell 
steadily and continuously for many months till the great 
crash came in May, 1866. These were clearly not the 
times for the trustees to launch a great building scheme 
upon the traders of Manchester: it had to wait. 

Meanwhile there were some important changes at 
the college. Mr. Sandeman resigned the chair of 
mathematics in May, and in the following July Mr. T. 
Barker, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, 
and senior wrangler, was elected professor in his room. 
Mr. Sandeman is a very able mathematician, and his 
published papers have raised him to a distinguished 


position. As a professor he was very popular with 
advanced students, but he did not disguise the weari- 
ness he felt with the dull ones ; hence his classes were 
small. Professor Christie, finding his private engage- 
ments becoming more numerous, resigned the chair of 
political economy, and, at his suggestion, Mr. Jevons 
was appointed to the post for one year. This arrange- 
ment was made from no want of confidence in Mr. 
Jevons. Mr. Christie desired to vacate the history 
chair with that of political economy, but as it was 
expected that a considerable rearrangement would 
shortly be made in consequence of Mr. Scott's con- 
tinued illness, which would be of great importance to 
Mr. Jevons, the arrangement was made with him for 
one year only, Mr. Christie continuing to hold the 
chair of history at the request of the trustees. The 
natural philosophy class still increased, and the pro- 
fessor cried out for more room : some improvements 
were made in his lecture theatre. ' To the great loss of 
the college, Professor Clifton accepted the professorship 
of experimental philosophy at Oxford in November. 
Professor Scott was so seriously unwell that he was 
unable to return to England at the commencement of 
the session 1865-6. Leave of absence was granted, but 
he never rallied, and died in Switzerland in January of 
the following year. 

In the movement to celebrate the tercentenary of 
Shakspere's birth Manchester took an active part. 
At a meeting of the Shakspere Commemoration 
Committee, held in the Mayor's Parlour, on Monday, 
the 1 4th December, 1863, the Mayor of Manchester in 
the chair, the following report was read: "The com- 
mittee appointed on the i6th October last, with instruc- 
tions 'to inquire into and report upon the best means of 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1861-2 1864.5. 255 

effecting some worthy commemoration of Shakspere,' 
having given careful consideration to the various pro- 
posals suggested to them, are of opinion that the three 
hundredth anniversary of Shakspere's birth in April, 
1864, would be most fitly commemorated in Man- 
chester by the foundation of two scholarships, to be 
called ' Shakspere Scholarships,' for the promotion of 
the study of English language and literature, in con- 
nection with Owens College and the Free Grammar 
School ; in the second place, that measures should be 
taken to produce a marble bust of Shakspere, to be 
placed in the Manchester Town Hall ; and, further, 
that a liberal contribution should be made towards the 
fund now raising for the erection of a monumental 
memorial of Shakspere at Stratford-on-Avon." This 
report was adopted, and it was thought desirable to 
raise a sum of ^4,000 for the objects specified. This 
was not realised, but when the account was closed 
in June, 1865, it was found that there was a balance, 
after payment of all expenses, of ,2,117, half of which 
was to go to Owens College and half to the Grammar 
School. The amount received was "1,071, which 
furnishes a scholarship of the annual value of ,40. It 
was surely a most appropriate means of celebrating the 
birth of England's greatest poet 

" Shakspeare ; with whom quick Nature dide :" 

to devote the fund to the study of English language 
and literature, 

..." sieth all yt he hath writt 
Leaves living art but page to serve his witt." 

It was in harmony with the expressed views of 
England's other great poet, who had so strongly urged 
the study of the native tongue : " And though a 
Linguist should pride himself to have all the Tongues 


that Babel cleft the world into, yet, if he have not 
studied the solid things in them as well as the Words 
and Lexicons, he were nothing so much to be esteem'd 
a learned man, as any Yeoman or Tradesman com- 
petently wise in his Mother Dialect only." 1 

Another welcome endowment was offered to and 
accepted by the college in 1865. A letter dated June 
22nd was addressed to the secretary of the college by 
Dr. Watts, on behalf of the Cobden Memorial Com- 
mittee, stating that it had been suggested at a meeting 
of that committee that a proper mode of devoting the 
surplus fund, after defraying the cost of the statue of 
Cobden, would be to further endow the subject of poli- 
tical economy at Owens College. The sum of ^400 
was given, the interest from which enabled the trustees 
to offer two prizes annually of the value of 7. los. 
and ^5 respectively. 

1 Milton, Of Education. Works, vol. iv., p. 381. Pickering's ed. 



" The study of natural history in all its branches renders interesting and full of 
enjoyment many a ramble and many an hour in the country, which might otherwise 
be passed tediously and unprofitably. We all know that there is scarcely a foot of 
ground that is not tenanted by some living creature, which, though it may offer 
itself to our observation in the lowly shape of an insect or even a minute shell, is 
as perfect in all its features and parts, in its habits and instincts, and as demonstra- 
tive of the surpassing wisdom and power and goodness of the Creator, as the most 
gigantic quadruped which walks the earth." CHARLES ST. JOHN, A Tour in 
Sutherlandshire, second edition, ii., p. 74. 

" I ^HE interest in Professor Williamson's lectures on 
natural history continued, but their value was 
diminished through the lack of specimens to illustrate 
them. An incident occurred in the session 1865-6 
which exemplified this. A student, who was a candi- 
date for the Dalton prize, wished to examine closely 
certain specimens connected with the subject of his 
study, but as these were the private property of the 
professor it was inconvenient to comply with the appli- 
cation. This decision was the more unfortunate as 
there was an insufficient number of students capable of 
winning the Dalton prizes, and the professors had 
recently been discussing what was the best course to 
adopt with the accumulated fund. 

On the 1 5th June, 1865, the council passed a resolu- 
tion to the effect that " The trustees of Owens College, 
having learned that the offer lately made by the 
Natural History Society to the corporation of Man- 


chester has not been accepted under the conditions 
which the society considered necessary for securing the 
due scientific development and custody of the museum, 
respectfully offer to the council of the society such 
assistance as they may be able to render in considering 
modes of providing for the society's collection a per- 
manent establishment in Manchester as a public educa- 
tional institution." 

This resolution produced no immediate effect, and 
six months later, December 2ist, the principal reported 
to the council that at the two previous college meetings 
the professors had had under consideration the urgent 
need which had long been experienced of a well- 
arranged natural history collection, open to the students 
for the purpose of private study. They passed the 
following resolution at their first meeting : " That the 
attention of the trustees be invited to the difficulty 
experienced by the students of natural history in 
finding admission to well-arranged and complete collec- 
tions of natural history ; and that they be requested to 
consider the expediency of making application to the 
council of the Manchester Natural History Society 
that the students may have leave to visit their collec- 
tions for the purpose of study, either under the direction 
of Professor Williamson, or, should that not be possible, 
under the direction of Dr. Alcock." 

Further, at the previous meeting, November 24th, it 
was resolved unanimously : " That the attention of the 
trustees be called to the want of a natural history 
museum, in which the students could readily examine 
specimens illustrating the teaching of the professor of 
natural history ; and that the desirableness of effecting 
some union with the existing Natural History Society 
be also at once represented to the trustees by the 


principal." Whereupon it was resolved by the trustees 
that the chairman, with Messrs. Gladstone and Darbi- 
shire, be requested to confer with the council of the 
Natural History Society and to place before them the 
following resolution : " That with a view to promoting 
effectively the study of natural history in Manchester, 
the college trustees respectfully suggest to the society 
that the deposit of the collections of the society in the 
hands of the trustees for educational purposes under 
the will of the late John Owens, would provide for those 
collections a permanent body of custodians at once 
intelligent and deeply and continuously interested in the 
scientific maintenance and development of such a series 
of specimens. The collection would be of extreme 
value as an addition to the educational appliances of 
the college, and as such would be completely appreciated 
by trustees, professors, and students. Its attachment to 
the college would not prevent its being freely accessible 
to the public on fixed days, while that very association 
would throw open its resources not only to the students 
of natural history in this district, but also to the public 
itself more advantageously than has ever been possible 
even under the generous liberality of the society." 
In continuance, the trustees stated they were unable 
at present to provide rooms for the whole of the 
society's museum, but they were appealing to the public 
for funds to enable them to erect new college buildings 
in a more favourable situation than the present site; 
they desired the society to make them a grant of 
funds to provide apartments : to meet the charge for 
the maintenance of the collection and its specific library : 
for the promotion of natural history science by pro- 
viding the salary of a curator of high standing, who 
would deliver regular courses of lectures on natural 


history subjects in the college : for the wages of his 
assistants, and, if the funds should be sufficient, for 
scholarships or prizes for students. The trustees urged 
that the future development of the college, which, they 
confidently expected, would afford a security such as 
could be offered in no other direction for the really scien- 
tific maintenance and effectual educational use of the 
society's valuable collections; and that the museum 
would be available to the public, and more usefully so 
in the charge of the college than in that of any other 
body in Manchester. They also reminded the society 
that the museums of Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Oxford 
were attached to the universities of those cities, and 
found in such alliance the most enlightened encourage- 
ment and support. 

As the property of the society was ultimately trans- 
ferred to Owens College, it may be well now to give an 
outline of its history. 

The " Manchester Society for the Promotion of 
Natural History" was formed in 1821, and consisted of 
gentlemen who were working naturalists. 'They held 
their first meeting on June 3Oth, 1821, "at the large 
room in St. Ann's Place;" when there were present: 
Mr. Ransome in the chair; Messrs. T. Sharpe, R. 
Hindley, W. Yates, J. L. Dawson, J. Moore, jun., T. 
H. Robinson, James Ainsworth, Dr. Holme, and Dr. 
Hardie. An opportunity having presented itself by 
the offer of the sale of the collection of birds, insects, 
etc., belonging to Mr. T. H. Robinson, for the 
formation of a society of natural history, it was resolved: 
"i. That a society be formed under the name of the 
Manchester Society of Natural History. 2. That this 

1 The information in this sketch is taken, unless otherwise specified, from the 
minute books of the society. 


society consist of such gentlemen as subscribe the sum 
of ten pounds, which is to be appropriated to the pur- 
chase of the said collection, and to the general objects 
of the society. 3. That for the support of the society, 
and defraying incidental expenses, a subscription of one 
guinea per annum be paid by each member. 4. That, 
when the number of subscribers amounts to thirty, all 
future admissions shall be by ballot, and a general 
meeting shall then be called for the revision of such 
laws as may be suggested previous to that period, and 
for making such regulations as may be deemed right 
for the future government of the society." 

The following gentlemen Sir Oswald Mosley, 
Bart, Dr. Holme, Mr. Ransome, Mr. John Moore, 
junior, Mr. Robert Hindley, Mr. Jonathan Dawson, Mr. 
James Ainsworth, Mr. Thomas Atkinson, Mr. Thomas 
Hyde, Mr. Samuel Kay, Mr. H. H. Birley, Mr. Thomas 
Fleming, Mr. R. W. Barton, Mr. William Yates, Mr. 
T. H. Robinson, Mr. Thomas Ainsworth, Mr. T. Ellis, 
Mr. Robert Philips, Dr. Hardie, Rev. John Clowes, 
Mr. John Sharpe, Mr. Thomas Hoyle, Mr. William 
Townend, Mr. W. J. Wilson, Mr. C. Green way, Mr. 
Thomas Turner, Mr. J. C. Dyer, Mr. Robert Gar- 
nett, Mr. William Jones, and Mr. William Garnett 
having put down their names, a general meeting was 
called. At this meeting a committee was appointed 
to frame rules for the regulation of the society. The 
birds and insects which were to form the nucleus of the 
society's collection had originally belonged to Mr. J. 
Lee Philips, and were described by Lord Stanley as 
those he had " always heard highly spoken of." They 
came into the possession of Mr. T. H. Robinson, but 
before that gentleman could dispose of them to the 
society he died. This necessarily caused delay, but on 


the 25th October following the society agreed to pay to 
Mr. Robinson's executors the sum of ^400 for them, 
which was accepted. The society took up their 
quarters in premises offered to them by Mr. Gilbert 
Winter in St. Ann's Place. Having framed their bye- 
laws, they appointed their council. It consisted of a 
president, four vice-presidents, a treasurer, four honorary 
curators, and two secretaries, to be elected at the annual 
meeting, and by ballot. Eminent scientific men could 
be elected as honorary members, and donors of valu- 
able specimens were eligible as corresponding members. 

On the 1 8th April, 1822, trustees of the property were 
appointed, the trust deed was read and approved, and 
the thanks of the meeting were given to Mr. Samuel 
Kay for his gratuitous services in preparing the instru- 

The collection, through purchases and donations, 
rapidly increased, and in February, 1823, a committee 
was appointed to inspect premises in King Street. For 
the present nothing came of it, but in May, 1824, it was 
resolved unanimously that the rooms of the society 
were quite insufficient for the proper accommodation 
of the members and of the valuable and increasing 
museum ; that it was desirable to obtain accommodation 
in certain buildings in the Manchester Exchange; and 
that a committee be appointed to treat with the Ex- 
change proprietors about terms. 

The offer of the Exchange proprietors was declined 
with thanks. Attention was again directed to the King 
Street property, and in July, 1824, it was secured for a 
term of five years, at a rental of one hundred and fifty 
guineas per annum. The site was that now occupied 
by the Reform Club, with the entrance from Spring 
Gardens. The society continued to prosper in spite of 


the bad times. They had then two hundred and eighty 
members, 1 and on the 6th October, 1825, it was re- 
solved to hold their first annual dinner. This event 
was considered so important that the following notice 
was inserted in five of the Manchester newspapers, viz. : 
the Guardian, Chronicle, Courier, Harrop's Mercury, 
and Aston's Herald: " Manchester Society for the 
Promotion of Natural History. The members of this 
society [will] hold their first annual dinner at White's 
Hotel, King Street, at five o'clock, on Tuesday, 27th 
inst. Tickets for the dinner may be had from Mr. 
Reynolds, at the society's hall, and as none will be 
issued after the 2ist inst. an early application to him is 
requested. T. Turner, P. Barrow, secretaries. October 
i4th, 1825." 

On June 7th, 1826, the council met, in response to a 
requisition of some members of the society, to " con- 
sider the expediency of forming a junction with the 
Royal Manchester Institution," and on the fifth of the 
following month a general meeting, at which eighty- 
nine members were present, was held with this object. 

The Royal Institution was originated at a public 
meeting held in the Exchange Rooms, ist October, 
1 823," "to take into consideration the suggestion of 
an establishment in Manchester for the encourage- 
ment of the fine arts." Its object was, as defined 
in the first resolution passed at this meeting, " the 
establishment of a collection of the best models 
that can be obtained, in painting and sculpture, the 
opening a channel through which the works of meri- 
torious artists may be brought before the public, and 
the encouragement of literary and scientific pursuits by 

1 See Laws of the Manchester Society, 1826, pp. 8-19. 
2 Wheeler's Manchester, p. 409. 


facilitating the delivery of popular courses of public 
lectures." Several of the patrons of the new institu- 
tion were also governors of the Natural History 
Society, and in purchasing premises in King Street, 
they wished to arrange the building for their own pur- 
poses, and, if possible, to strengthen their position by a 
junction with the Natural History Society. 

On 4th February, 1824, the society informed the 
institution of the amount of space they would require 
in the proposed building, but, at their next meeting, 
which was unusually large, a motion by Mr. G. W. 
Wood to the effect that a union of the two institutions 
would be beneficial to both of them, provided a satisfac- 
tory arrangement could be accomplished, was negatived. 
The Royal Institution scheme was received with much 
favour by some of its wealthy patrons. " Unfortu- 
nately," says the historian, 1 " the success of the projected 
institution was so great as to overturn the sober views 
of some leading members of the council." They 
abandoned their original plan, advocated the erection of 
a new and expensive structure, and finally commis- 
sioned Mr. Charles Barry 2 to erect the building in 
Mosley Street which is now the City Art Gallery. 

When the motion, therefore, came before the society 
on the 7th June, 1826, for union, although it was sup- 
ported by thirty distinguished members, and safe- 
guarded by many conditions, it was adjourned sine die, 
and did not come up again. The society continued to 
prosper, adding to its collections, and to its list of 
members. Among those elected as honorary members 
were Baron Cuvier, Edward Forbes, Dr. Buckland, 
Thomas Bell, J. J. Audubon; also Richard Cobden as 

1 Wheeler's Manchester, p. 410. 
2 Afterwards Sir Charles Barry, R.A. 


an ordinary member. The King Street premises had 
become too small, and at the expiry of the lease there 
was a renewed desire for larger quarters. Overtures 
were made once more to the Royal Institution, and a 
suitable building in Cross Street was visited, but the 
choice ultimately fell upon a plot of land in Peter Street, 
part of the celebrated Peterloo Fields. 

At a special meeting of the society, held July i8th, 
1832, certain recommendations were made, from which 
the following are given. That a piece of land situate 
in Peter Street and Mount Street, Manchester, contain- 
ing about fifteen hundred square yards net, should be 
purchased, subject to the payment of a perpetual yearly 
rent of ^127. 135., in order to the erection thereon of 
a handsome and substantial, but not expensive building 
for the museum. That the sum necessary for the erec- 
tion of the building be raised by a loan in shares of 
^25 each, at four per cent interest, but no person to 
take more than two shares. That the land, buildings, 
museum, and other stock and property of the society be 
conveyed to and invested in the trustees for the time 
being, according to the present rules of the society; the 
income to go to the payment of the chief rent, the 
interest on the loans, and other expenses, and to the 
enlargement of the collection of objects, and to the 
paying off the debt. That the trustees and governors 
should be free from all pecuniary responsibility for the 
payment of principal and interest, beyond the amount 
of the actual income of the society ; the lenders having 
no power to compel the repayment of their loans. A 
committee was empowered to carry out the resolutions 
with all practical expedition, and Mr. Fleming was 
authorised to obtain a plan and estimate of the 


At the first meeting of the new year (1833) the pur- 
chase of the land was confirmed. The total area was 
seventeen hundred and two square yards at one shilling 
and sixpence a yard, but a large slice of this had to be 
given up to streets. Plans were approved, and working 
plans and specifications were ordered. 1 It does not 
appear from the minutes what was the amount of the 
contract, but the building fund account puts the total 
cost of the building at ,3,750. 

The new building was opened to subscribers on the 
1 8th May, 1835, and Mr. W. C. Williamson, of Scar- 
borough, was appointed curator and general manager 
of the museum, with the request that he should com- 
mence a scientific arrangement of the various subjects 
in the different departments of the museum, and pre- 
pare a catalogue of the same as soon as circumstances 
would permit. 

On 1 8th July, 1836, John Owens was elected an 
ordinary member of the society, 2 and at the same 
meeting it was resolved that in consequence of the 
increase of ordinary members the extraordinary sub- 
scription of one guinea was no longer requisite. At 
the next monthly meeting no fewer than fifty-one 
members were elected and twelve proposed. As a 
curious climax to this minute it is recorded: "Resolved, 
that the bones of the whale be articulated !" 

The society was now at the height of its prosperity. 
It numbered in 1838 : 3 Four hundred and thirty-three 

1 The minutes are provokingly deficient at this period. The name of the 
architect is never mentioned, and although the names of the tenderers are given 
the amount of the contract is withheld. No reports of annual meetings are entered 
before 1839. 

2 Minute book, ii., p. no; the ledger, p. 119, records the payment of 10 
entrance fee, July 25th, 1836. 

8 See Laws of the Manchester Society, etc., 1838. 


hereditary governors, nine honorary members, six cor- 
responding members, seventy-one annual subscribers 
of two guineas, and six annual subscribers of one 
guinea ; total, five hundred and twenty-five. The 
hereditary governors paid an entrance fee of ten 
pounds, and an annual subscription of one guinea, 
which might be increased to two guineas. A change 
was about to come over the action of the society. It 
passed a new code of laws, twenty-nine in all. Some 
of them are very significant. For seventeen years the 
society had been a private association, and its museum 
was enjoyed by its members, their families, or friends 
only, but by rule xxii. the museum and rooms were 
henceforth to be open to ladies and strangers on pay- 
ment of one shilling for each admission; and by rule 
xxiii. the council was authorised to open the museum 
to resident non-subscribers, on such days and hours, 
upon such payment, and under such regulations as it 
might deem necessary, on an order signed by a gover- 
nor being presented, and also to schools, at such 
times, and under such regulations as the council might 
determine. The time was coming when the society 
was kept together principally through a generous 
interpretation of this rule. 'The result of the experi- 
ment in the first year was : 


1,286 strangers, at i/- [sit:] - 69 6 o 

97 Manchester residents, at i/- 4 17 o 

177 mechanics, at 6d. - 486 

25 school children, at 6d. 012 6 

14 Sunday scholars, at 3d. - 036 

19 7 6 

1 From the annual report of the council, presented January 3 1st, 1840. 


In two years the income from admissions at the door 
had nearly doubled, but the council in noting this in 
their report state, that owing to the shares of deceased 
governors not being taken up, and the increased num- 
ber of resignations, with the consequent loss of sub- 
scriptions, and the decrease in the applications for 
admission, the gross receipts of the society had lately 
fallen off. This decrease continued and the fall was 
rapid. The council complain that in five years they 
had lost through death and resignation no fewer than 
one hundred and thirteen governors, and that a great 
proportion of the annual subscribers had discontinued 
their subscriptions. 

The annual report, presented January 3Oth, 1846, 
states that there were: 

298 hereditary subscribers, at 31/6 - ,469 7 o 

21 annual subscribers, at 42 /- - 44 2 o 

3 annual subscribers, at 21 /- 33 

^516 12 o 

On the other hand, the admissions had been : 
2,510, at i/- - - 125 10 o 

2,895, at 6d. 72 7 6 

2,058, at id. 8 ii 6 

5,280 free. 

12,743 admissions. 

^"206 9 o 

It will not be necessary to dwell upon this subject; 
suffice to say that whilst the number of subscribers 
steadily fell the admissions by payment increased; in 
1851 there were twenty- two thousand one hundred and 
fifty-one, out of a total of twenty-four thousand one 
hundred and eighteen, who passed the doors. 

By the generosity of foreign correspondents and the 
zeal of some members of the council, the collection 


increased rapidly, and there was an outcry for more 
space. The minutes do not record many details of in- 
terest; there are, however, a few which may be given. 
Dean Herbert had visited Greece, and had picked up 
some bones, which he sent to Professor Owen for 
classification. On December 2nd, 1846, the enthusiastic 
dean writes : "I sent the bones to Professor Owen. 
From his answer there can be no doubt of their being 
the remnants of the bones of goats, sacrificed to Jupiter 
above one thousand four hundred years ago; goats 
being the livestock of the island. The site of the 
temple is a very small, flat space on the highest pin- 
nacle of the mountain, which overlooks Greece and the 
Ionian Islands. It is occupied by a small cairn of 
stones piled up by travellers who have visited it, and 
the small space round it is carpeted with such fragments 
of bone." These bones were deposited in the museum. 
The society became possessed of a fossil jaw and the 
head of a dugong, which they sent to Professor Owen 
for a report. He said, September i7th, 1847: "You 
are quite correct in regard to the difference between 
the dugong from Moreton Bay and that of the Indian 
Archipelago. Your skull has belonged to an old male 
of the species Halicore Australis, described in the ap- 
pendix to the Voyage of the Fly (pp. 323-331, ii.). The 
skull there figured belonged to a female and a younger 
individual than yours, which has afforded additional 
confirmation of the specific distinctness of the Australian 
dugong. The tusks, ex. gr., are proportionally more 
slender than in the Halicore Indicus, and the transverse 
section is semi-oval instead of being triangular. One 
of the fossils is the anterior half of the jaw of a gigantic 
Phascolomys or wombat, of a different species from the 
equally large fossil of that genus which I had previously 


received from Melbourne. The other fossil is part of 
the lower jaw of the Macropus atlas, a large extinct 
kangaroo. . . . The Phascolomys fossil is at present 
unique." Mr. M'Connel sent from Moreton Bay some 
shells, also twenty madrepores from the same place, 
obtained by the blacks who dived for them, and brought 
them up from a depth of from four to ten feet at low 
water; also a meteoric stone, which was seen to fall 
in 1828, by the chief black on Cupboard Creek, Bris- 
bane River, Moreton Bay. He saw it red hot, and 
dug it out of the earth before it was cold, put it on 
an ant hill, where he showed it to Mr. M'Connel. 
"I fully believe," said Mr. M'Connel, "that it is 
genuine, for it is not at all likely that an ignorant Aus- 
tralian black would invent such a false statement of an 
event, to which to him would be marvellous, and quite 
different to the rest of his experience and knowledge of 
natural phenomena. Its original weight when I found 
it was twenty-one pounds." 

At their annual general meeting, 3ist January, 1849, 
the society revised their rules, one of them, number 
xxiv., having an important bearing upon events twenty 
years later. It stated that: "All the funds and moneys 
of the society shall, during the subsistence thereof, be 
applied by or under the direction of the council, in 
paying the debts and demands for the time being owing 
by the society ...... . and in the event of a dissolu- 
tion of the society, then, after payment of all debts and 
demands owing by the institution, the remaining funds 
and moneys thereof, if any, shall be paid or applied by 
or by the direction of the council, to such persons and in 
such manner as the council for the time being may think 
fit, for the promotion and encouragement of the study of 
natural history within the parish of Manchester, but no 


dividend, gift, division, or bonus in money, shall at any 
time, or under any circumstance, be made unto or 
between the governors or members of the society, or 
any of them." 

With the desire to find accommodation for the in- 
creasing store of objects came suggestions for union 
with other learned societies. Sir Oswald Mosley, who. 
had been the steadfast patron of the society from its 
origin (and continued to be so till its dissolution), 
wrote: " Rolleston Hall, 25th October, 1849. I am 
well convinced that scientific societies, both in London 
and the provinces, are become too numerous to be 
separately supported, and that an amalgamation must, 
ere long, take place. I was not, therefore, surprised to 
hear of the bad success of the Manchester Geological 
Society, and I highly approve of the plan of forming a 
union between it and the Natural History Society." 
At the meeting when this letter was read, the council 
respectfully requested the president "to prepare a 
statement in reference to the want of room for the 
increasing collection of our own specimens and also for 
the reception of the collection of the Geological Society, 
in the event of the dissolution of that society, and of 
the collection being transferred to this society." 

In the report for 1850 the council, with pardonable 
pride, refer to the praise bestowed upon the museum 
by those who were capable of forming a correct judg- 
ment. "It will be remembered," says the report, 
"that when the British Association assembled in Man- 
chester in 1842 the section of zoology and botany held 
its sittings in the hall of this institution, and it is highly 
gratifying to the council to state, that the warm enco- 
miums then passed upon our splendid museum by some 
of the first philosophers of Europe have been reiterated 


and confirmed by many of the most distinguished 
naturalists of the present day, who have since visited 
Manchester. It is also gratifying to the council to 
witness the increasing attention to natural history 
which is now displayed, especially by the young. 
Amongst those, too, who have had hitherto but little 
opportunity for cultivating knowledge of this kind, the 
facilities offered by this society seem to be greatly 
appreciated. During the past year upwards of twenty- 
five thousand persons have visited the museum, and of 
these a very large proportion belong to the working 
classes. The liberal manner in which these are ad- 
mitted during the holidays, and on Saturdays, is most 
fully estimated by them, and those habits of quiet and 
rational enjoyment, upon which their own happiness 
and that of society at large so very much depend, are 
evidently on the increase. Notwithstanding the fre- 
quent crowding of the rooms on these occasions, no 
instance of misconduct has ever occurred. Many come 
hither from all parts of the surrounding districts, and 
show, not only by successive visits, but in some 
instances by presents of objects which have fallen in 
their way, and to which their attention has been 
directed by what is here presented, that opportunity 
only is wanted to acquire new tastes, and, with these, 
new and improved habits." With more to the same 
effect. This is followed by an earnest appeal for funds 
to enable the council to enlarge the building. A sum of 
1,200 is spoken of as needed for the extension. 

In April following, a building committee was ap- 
pointed, to whom plans were to be referred ; a vigorous 
canvass was also instituted, and eleven hereditary 
governors were elected, and fourteen proposed. 

At a special meeting of the council, held July 24th, 


1850, the report of the building committee was con- 
firmed, the plans of the architect (Mr. Thomas Dickson) 
were adopted, and the tender of Mr. David Bellhouse,, 
amounting, with architect's commission, 10^1,473. IOS -> 
was accepted. This was for the extension in Museum 
Street, and was to consist of three rooms sixty-two 
feet long each. "For this they had, in subscriptions, 
^1,100; and to be drawn from the general fund, ^380. 
Towards the end of the year there were renewed over- 
tures from the Geological Society for accommodation; 
heads of agreement were suggested, and at a conference 
of delegates of the two societies, held November 8th, 
1850, the following terms were provisionally arranged. 
The Geological Society required from one thousand 
two hundred to one thousand five hundred square feet : 
the wing available in the building of the Natural 
History Society contained one thousand seven hundred 

Should the collection of the Geological Society be 
permanently deposited in the building of the Natural 
History Society, one general collection should be 
formed, which should include the collection already in 
the possession of the latter society, to which the public 
should have free admission during the hours when the 
general museum was open. The existing members of 
the Geological Society should have free admission to the 
entire museum of the Natural History Society. Accom- 
modation, rent free, was to be afforded for the library 
of the Geological Society, and also for the meetings of 
the council and members. Two members of the society 
could be appointed by the Geological Society to act on 
the council of the Natural History Society; those, with 

l The total subscriptions given in the ledger amount to ^1,215. gs.; but from 
this there was a surrender of shares, ^75 ; leaving a net balance of ,1,140. gs. 



an equal number from the other society, should form a 
board of management for the geological collection, and 
were to have power to dispose of duplicates arising 
from the union of the two collections. 

These liberal terms were accepted by both parties, 
but the arrangement did not work well. In course of 
time bickerings arose. The collections were to be under 
the joint custody of curators of both societies. In 1859 
an angry dispute arose as to the custody of the keys 
of the cases : there was a threat of a dissolution of the 
connection between the societies. These differences 
were, happily, composed. 

During the year 1860 the welcome news came to 
the society that Mr. Humphrey Nichols, who was at 
that time distributing a large portion of his ample 
fortune to charitable objects, intended to present to 
them the chief rent (^127. 135. annually) of the land 
upon which the museum stood. This was very accept- 
able to the society, who were again struggling with 
financial difficulties. Unfortunately a rumour came to 
Mr. Nichols's ears that the society purposed the trans- 
fer of their property to the Manchester Corporation; 
he therefore withdrew his offer. The council at once 
took alarm, and assured Mr. Nichols that the question 
of offering the museum to the corporation of Man- 
chester was only mooted by two members of the 
council two years past, but was not entertained, and 
that there was no intention on the part of the council 
or any of the members to revive such a proposal or to 
make any transfer whatever of the institution. It was 
resolved to send Mr. Nichols a copy of this resolution, 
" in the hope that the only objection he entertained 
will thereby be removed, and he will be enabled to 
carry out his very liberal intention of presenting the 


institution with the chief rent hitherto paid to him." 
Having faith in the power of this appeal, they also 
resolved, "That on the completion of Mr. Nichols's 
gift strenuous exertions be made to place the institu- 
tion out of debt and to obtain additional subscribers." 
It was too late. There was no bird or beast in the 
collection which, when alive, was more wary when once 
startled than Mr. Nichols. He gave large sums of 
money, but it was in his own way; he would not brook 
appeals which he regarded as dictation, nor would he 
take advice unless he sought it. To press him when 
he had refused was to make him obstinate, if not to 
drive him to fury; hence all the blandishments offered 
were of no avail the chief rent was paid to the end. 

In January, 1861, new trustees were appointed, the 
only survivors of the deed of 1822 being Sir Oswald 
Mosley and Mr. R. W. Barton. This action suggested 
the desirability of making a new valuation of jthe 
society's property. The result was : 

Value of the land over and above 

the chief rent i 2,063 o o 

^Original cost of the building 3>75 o 

Additional wing in 1851 - l >53 2 o 

Value of collection in 1849 - 7>778 10 n 

Increased value to 1861 - 628 13 10 

^25,752 4 9 

If to the above be added the value 
of the collection of the Geo- 
logical Society incorporated with 
the Society's collection, esti- 
mated at 600 o o 

The total value would be - - ^26,352 4 9 

The council protested against the rumours that they 
were in an unsound financial condition, and that they 


had any intention of disposing of the property to the 
corporation or any one else. In addition to the chief 
rent the only claim on the estate was seventy-five 
shares at ^"25 each (,1,875) ne kl by hereditary 
governors. But, alas! this show of strength was but 
the prelude to a fall. Three years later January, 
1 864 there was a proposal to revise the rule respecting 
admission and transfer fees till the subscribers reached 
three hundred and nineteen, the original number when 
the museum was opened. An alternative suggestion 
was made that the property should be offered to the 
corporation of Manchester upon certain conditions of 
management, as a trust for the public. It was pointed 
out that with public parks, museums, libraries, etc., etc., 
the day had gone by when a private company could 
keep up efficiently a large museum. 

During the past ten years the income had greatly 
diminished, for whilst the subscriptions and admission 
fees were about the same, the "gate" money had fallen 
from "311. 55. 3d. in 1853, to ,117. 8s. 3d. in 1863; 
the entries being eighteen thousand two hundred and 
seventy-three in the first period, and only five thousand 
and forty-one in the latter year. 1 

A committee was appointed to prepare a report, which 
was approved at an adjourned annual meeting, held 
May 4th, 1864. The two main points brought before 
the corporation were "(i) that satisfactory provision be 
made for the maintenance of the museum under efficient 
scientific curatorship, and (2) that effective provisions 
be made for the continuance on the museum committee 
of a certain number of gentlemen of approved qualifica- 
tions, irrespective of their being members of the (city) 

1 It may be here stated that the payments for admission decreased in number 
and amount very rapidly from this date to the closing of the museum. 


council, through whose instrumentality may be per- 
petuated, with more certainty than through a succession 
of corporation committees not so supplemented, the 
specific scientific objects of the Manchester Natural 
History Society." The conditions laid down were 
accepted by a committee of the corporation, but when 
they came before the town council they were refused; 
that body would not submit to a dual control. 1 The 
committee of the society greatly modified their demands, 
but the corporation remained firm. Whereupon it was 
resolved "that the town clerk be informed that, so far 
as this committee is concerned, the negotiations must 
be considered at an end." 

What Manchester so unwisely refused was eagerly 
sought by Salford. The committee in their report to 
the annual meeting, January 26th, 1866, alluded to the 
refusal of the corporation to listen to their proposal ; 
they laid three schemes before the meeting for the 
disposal of the property. 

i. The disposal of part of the collection, and the 
retention only of such specimens as were of peculiar 
interest for purposes of study. This would enable 
them to sell the land and house themselves in smaller 
quarters. 2. The disposal of the whole property to the 

1 The proposal was to appoint a committee to have charge of the museum, to 
consist of (a) The Mayor of Manchester for the time being ; (b) Eight other gentle- 
men, six of whom should be selected by the council of the Natural History Society, 
and two by the council of the Geological Society. Any vacancies to be filled up as 
follow : (c) council of the Geological Society ; (d) council of the Royal Institution; 
(e) trustees and Professor of Natural History at Owens College ; (/) professors of 
the Royal School of Medicine. The report of the committee to the town council 
was signed by J. M. Bennett (Mayor), Abel Heywood, Ivie Mackie, Robert 
Rumney, who "were of opinion that the liberal offer ought to be willingly accepted 
by the corporation. There did not appear to be anything unreasonable in any of 
the conditions suggested, and in the opinion of the signatories great advantage 
might be anticipated as the result of the proposed association with the members of 
the council in the management of the museum, of gentlemen taking special 
interest in the objects of the Natural History Society, etc." 


corporation of Salford. 3. The sale of the land and 
buildings to raise an endowment for educational pur- 
poses in Manchester ; and the dispersal of the collection 
(a) among free museums in the neighbourhood, (6) a 
selected portion to be given to Owens College, (c] and 
another selected portion to be sent to the Literary and 
Philosophical Society. The first proposition was not 
recommended. The second had the double demerit 
that it would be sending the collection away from Man- 
chester, and it was doubtful whether the Salford corpo- 
ration limited to a penny rate could sustain its free 
library and do justice to the museum. As regarded the 
third proposition, ij was obvious that much of the value 
of the museum would be absolutely thrown away if it 
were broken up ; moreover, two small endowments 
would waste much of the power which would be avail- 
able under a large one. It appeared to the council 
that nothing which had yet been submitted to them 
offered so sound a prospect of the honourable discharge 
of their responsibilities as the proposal of the trustees. 

Notwithstanding the eagerness of Owens College 
on the one hand, and the willingness of the society on 
the other, nothing was done for more than twelve 
months. Meanwhile the financial condition had be- 
come most serious. The society was in debt to the 
bank ; the receipts for the year had only reached 
^39. 45. 2d., and the subscriptions ^171. 135. 6d. A 
committee was appointed and authorised to dispose of 
surplus specimens, and to sell the land and buildings; 
finally, it was resolved to close the museum to the 

The extension committee of the college had been un- 
able to make definite overtures to the society, because 
their own position was not assured. In March, 1867, 


they again approached the society, and in the course 
of the next two months the following suggestions were 
made and agreed to as the basis of a possible arrange- 
ment: i. The society to agree to transfer the whole of 
its property and collections to the trustees (governors) 
of the enlarged college subject to the deduction of a 
sum of ,1,500 to be placed in the hands of the Literary 
and Philosophical Society as an endowment for similar 
purposes. The geological collection could not be dis- 
posed of without the consent of the Geological Society. 
2. The society's property to be charged with ,5,000 as 
a contribution to the new buildings fund. 3. Subject to 
this deduction, the society's property to be invested, 
and the income to be applied in paying : (a) the salary 
of the curator; (b] the maintenance of the library, of 
the collections, and the purchase of new specimens. 
The college to undertake the appointment of the same 
gentleman to fill the office of professor of natural history 
and chief curator, proportionally augmenting from col- 
lege resources the income applicable for the service of 
the natural history department 4. The collections, 
subject to reasonable exclusion of duplicates or other- 
wise undesirable specimens, to be maintained in an 
appropriate museum, to which should be appended 
proper curators' rooms and library, workshop and store- 
rooms, and a convenient lecture-room, and room for the 
meetings of the Natural History Society. 5. The col- 
lection to be closed one day a week for cleaning, etc.; 
to be open with access to the library two days a week 
for purposes of study to all persons under proper regu- 
lations; and to be open to the public three days a week. 
Access to be given to the museum in the evenings. 6. 
The college to provide full courses of natural history 
lectures, and at least one course a year of popular lee- 


tures, open to the public, on a small payment. The 
natural history professors to have free use in the college 
of the museum specimens. These details were left to 
the discretion of the college authorities. 7. The mem- 
bers of the Natural History Society then living to have 
free access to the museum and library for life. 8. The 
proposed transfer to be completed, and the Owens 
College extension committee to take charge of the 
collections with as little delay as possible. Counsel's 
opinion was taken upon the proper mode for dis- 
solving the society and transferring the property to the 

In accordance with the advice of Mr. Giffard, Q.C., 
a special meeting of the governors of the society was 
held November i3th, 1867. There was a large atten- 
dance, and it was resolved: " i. That the scheme for the 
disposal of the property of .the society be approved and 
adopted. 2. That the society be dissolved; such dis- 
solution to take place immediately after the annual 
meeting in January next. 3. That the council be in- 
structed to confer and arrange with the Geological 
Society as to the disposal of the joint museum of 
geology on the dissolution of the Natural History 
Society, and with power to cede the society's share in 
the collection if necessary. 4. The council was autho- 
rised to prepare the necessary deeds for the disposal of 
the society's property, the settlement of all claims and 
liabilities affecting the same, and the selection of the 
commissioners to be charged with the custody of the 
society's property. The trustees were requested and 
directed to execute such deeds as the council might 
approve." Whereupon Mr. E. W. Binney handed in a 
letter protesting against the alienation of the society's 
property "to any school or educational institution like 


Owens College." He then left the room. All the reso- 
lutions were unanimously approved, and at a second 
special meeting of the governors, at which ninety-eight 
were present or represented, the resolutions were unani- 
mously confirmed. 

In January, 1868, the following commissioners 
were elected: Mr. J. Sidebotham, Mr. A. G. Latham, 
Mr. Neville, Dr. J. P. Joule, F.R.S., for the society; 
Mr. Thomas Ash ton, Professor Greenwood, Mr. 
Neild, Mr. Murray Gladstone, on behalf of the 
Owens College Extension Committee, to take charge 
of the property and duly convey it to the college 

At the annual meeting held 2Qth January, 1868, the 
resolutions passed at the special meetings of governors 
were confirmed. 


This society was formed in 1838, by a number of 
gentlemen who took a general interest in science, but 
who specially desired to obtain accurate returns of the 
coal measures of Lancashire and Cheshire, of the great 
beds of red sandstone which underlie portions of those 
counties, of the sections which were being opened by 
the cuttings of new railways through the Pennine 
Chain, and from Bolton to the Irish Sea. They gave 
great attention to the trigonometric survey which the 
government had in hand, and by persistent representa- 
tions obtained a more liberal scale of measurement than 
was originally intended. They collected books, maps, 
plans, sections, models, and mining records, and they 
gathered together a most interesting and valuable 
museum of geological specimens. Their first home 
was at a house, 29, Faulkner Street, which they rented 


at ^60 a year, but as the society was in its infancy, and 
" the strictest economy ought always to be practised, 
especially during the first year," they let off a portion 
which reduced their burden by ^25 a year. 1 But the 
same admirable motive was still more rigidly exercised, 
for during the second year " Mr. James Hey wood, 
F.R.S., having liberally offered part of his house at 
52, Mosley Street for the use of the society, the council 
. . . were induced to move to the handsome and 
commodious premises which they now occupy." 

This generosity could not very long be accepted. 
The report for the fourth year (1842) states that owing 
to the increase of the number and size of the specimens, 
the council had sought for accommodation in the spacious 
rooms of the Royal Institution. Here they remained 
till their transfer to the Natural History Society's 
museum in 1850. 

The Geological Society was a success from its outset. 
It consisted of earnest men who really desired to know 
more about the strata beneath their feet, and who had a 
supreme desire to lessen, if possible, the shocking waste 
of life from explosions and other causes; they also had 
a thirst for scientific accuracy, and for a knowledge of 
animal and vegetable life in long past ages. 

It is difficult to give an accurate number of the 
members in the first two years. The first report makes 
no allusion to it, but the second says : " The number of 
annual members at present on the books is two hundred 
and thirty-two. Of this number twenty-three have 
been elected during the present year. If the doubtful 
names are deducted, the list will contain one hundred 
and ninety-one annual members." There were also 

1 Report read at the second annual meeting, 2Qth October, 1840. 


eight who had compounded for their subscriptions, and 
nineteen honorary members. But the cash account 
tells a different tale. In the first year the account is 
credited with the receipts from one hundred and twenty- 
four annual and six life members ; the second year gives 
one hundred and thirty-one annual, three half-yearly, and 
one life ; and the third year only represents an income 
equal to one hundred and thirty-two annual, one half- 
yearly, and one life. The fourth report definitely speaks 
of one hundred and sixty-eight ordinary and eighteen 
honorary members, but the cash account falls far short 
of this. The first three presidents were : Lord Francis 
Egerton, M.P., F.G.S. ; James Heywood, F.R.S., 
F.G.S.; Sir P. de Malpas Grey Egerton, Bart., M.P., 
Among the honorary members were : M. Agassiz, 
Dr. Buckland, F.R.S., Dr. Dalton, F.R.S., Sir Henry 
T. de la Beche, F.R.S., Earl of Enniskillen, D.C.L., 
F.R.S., Leonard Horner, F.R.S., Sir Charles Lyell, 
F. R. S., Sir Rhoderick Murchison, F. R. S., John 
Phillips, F.R.S., Professor Sedgwick, F.R.S., Rev. 
Dr. Whewell, F.R.S. 

Among the transactions published by the society was 
their first volume, issued in 1841. It contained several 
important papers, including: "Observations on the 
Lancashire and Cheshire Coal Field, with a Section," 
by E. W. Binney ; " On the Origin of Coal ; and the 
Geological Conditions under which it was Produced," 
by J. E. Bowman; "On the Fossil Fishes of the 
Pendleton Coal Field," by E. W. Binney. 

When the Natural History Society consented to 
hand over its property to the Owens College, it was 
hoped that the Geological Society would also be willing 
to present their valuable collection to the same institu- 
tion. Overtures to this effect were made, and on the 


27th January, 1869, Mr. Darbishire was able to 
announce to the executive of Owens College that the 
Manchester Geological Society had adopted a resolu- 
tion to transfer their museum to the Natural History 
Commissioners with a view to placing it ultimately in 
the new college buildings ; and on the first of Decem- 
ber the same year he reported the completion of the 
gift, the transfer deed having been signed the previous 
day. This was largely owing to the zeal and devotion 
of the president of the Geological Society, Mr. John 
Aitken, of Bacup, and a resolution was passed express- 
ing to him the great pleasure of the committee, and 
their thanks for so valuable a gift. The articles of 
agreement were, as to privileges to members and the 
public, similar to those of the Natural History Society. 
The property was also placed in the hands of the com- 
missioners. 1 At a meeting of these gentlemen, held 
loth April, 1872, extracts from the minutes of proceed- 
ings of the council of the Owens College on 6th March, 
and of the extension committee loth April, 1872 (to 
the effect that college buildings were being erected, 
etc.), were read. The secretary also produced plans 
and drawings referred to by the extension committee, 
all of which were examined and discussed. Mr. 
Latham (treasurer, Manchester Geological Society) 
inquired whether it was certain that the college would 
administer the trusts of the museum under inde- 
pendent trusts with a curator of its own, and was 
assured by the chairman (Mr. Joseph Sidebotham) after 
referring to the trust deed, that that would be the case, 
whereupon Mr. Latham moved, Mr. Neville seconded, 
and it was resolved : " That the commissioners, having 

1 The same gentlemen who acted for the Natural History Society. See p. 281. 


received the minutes of proceedings of the council of 
Owens College of the 6th March, 1872, and of the 
extension committee of the same of this day, resolve 
that the same be entered on the minutes, and declare 
that it appears to their satisfaction that the object of the 
Owens College Extension Committee with respect to 
the extension of the college and the erection of new 
buildings in connection therewith will, in all reasonable 
probability, be obtained by the new college, and direct 
the preparation and execution forthwith of the necessary 
instruments for transferring to the college the property 
and collections of the late Manchester Natural History 
Society and the geological collections, cases, etc., here- 
tofore belonging to the same society and the Manchester 
Geological Society, in accordance with the provisions 
of the deed of declaration of trust of 2Qth January, 

1 868, and the articles of agreement of 3oth November, 

1869, between the commissioners and the president of 
the Manchester Geological Society." 

At a further meeting of the commissioners, held at 
the Museum i8th December, 1872, A. G. Latham, Esq., 
in the chair, the engrossment was produced, examined, 
and approved; and at such meeting it was unanimously 
resolved "That the same engrossment be executed by 
the commissioners' parties thereto of the first part." 
By this instrument the property of the two societies 
was handed over to the Owens College. Thus the 
college became possessed of the two valuable collections. 
The geological portion has been well laid out and much 

The old museum building, which was sold to the 
Young Men's Christian Association, realised 30,000 
by its sale, which was appropriated as under: 



1875. By sale of land and buildings in Peter Street - 30,000 

Repayment of loan and com- 
missioners' expenses - - 7,500 o o 

Working expenses paid by the 

college, 1873-5 *>353 2 

Law expenses - 57 15 4 

Grant to Literary and Philo- 
sophical Society - 1,500 o o 

,, to Owens College building 

account - 5,000 o o 


ment account - 14,589 4 6 

The item of ,7,500 included the repayment of the 
overdraft to the bank, the curator's salary, officials' 
wages, cost of maintenance incurred by the commis- 
sioners from the date of closing the museum till it was 
taken over by the governors of Owens College. The 
working expenses incurred by the college up to the 
date of sale in 1875 amounted to 1,353. os - 2< ^- 


COLLEGE HISTORY, 1865-61872. 

" The drawing forth the faculty is the first half of knowledge, and the end of 
knowledge, when won, is the leading forth the faculties to a fresh discovery of a 
larger store." Rev. J. BALDWIN BROWN, B.A., The Home Life, p. 127. 

IT is necessary to go back a year or two to take up 
the thread of the college history. The work of 
the trustees became so intermixed with the enlargement 
scheme that it is difficult to disentangle it, but as it is 
desirable to give in detail the building of the new 
college, that will be done in separate chapters. 

Important changes took place in the teaching staff in 
the session 1865-6. Death removed Professor Scott; 
professional engagements compelled Mr. Christie to 
retire from the professoriate; an appointment to the 
chair of experimental philosophy in the University of 
Oxford deprived the college of Professor Clifton's 
eminent services. But these changes brought others 
which have shed lustre upon the institution. Mr. W. 
Jack, M.A., fellow of St. Peter's College, Cambridge, 
was elected to the chair of natural philosophy; Mr. A. 
W. Ward, M.A., also a fellow of St. Peter's, was elected 
to the chair of English language and literature and of 
ancient and modern history; and Mr. W. Stanley 
Jevons, M.A., fellow of University College, London, 
was elected professor of logic and of mental and moral 
philosophy, and of political economy. The teacherships 
of French and German were combined into a professor- 


ship, and Mr. Theodores was elected to the post. 
Finally, the office of college tutor was abolished, and 
an assistant lecturer in classics and mathematics was 
appointed instead. 

It has been recorded that during 1865 the Cobden 
Memorial Committee gave the sum of ^400 for the 
endowment of prizes in political economy. On the 
22nd of March, 1866, a very welcome letter was read 
from Dr. Watts, stating that the following resolution 
had been passed by the same committee, viz.: "That 
the scheme of the executive committee for the appro- 
priation of the balance of the fund be approved, and 
that they be empowered to arrange with the trustees of 
Owens College for the preparation of a deed embodying 
the spirit of the resolutions now adopted." The pro- 
posals were: That a sum of not less than .1,250 (it 
reached ,1,500) be devoted to the endowment of the 
chair of political economy in Owens College, on condi- 
tion that the professor deliver each session a course of 
weekly evening lectures, to which any of the public 
primary school teachers or pupil teachers engaged 
within the boroughs of Manchester or Salford should 
have free admission. The balance of the fund, if any, 
to be invested to provide money prizes, each of the 
value of 10 or less, for the teachers and pupil teachers, 
who attending the lectures should pass a satisfactory 

Another offer of an endowment for this chair was 
made, but with a different result. It was by a few 
gentlemen in admiration of Robert Owen, of New 
Lanark. The amount was small 300. The trustees 
were very cautious in considering this offer. They ad- 
journed the subject to a fuller meeting a month later, 
and then resolved that: " After full consideration of the 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1865-61872. 289 

offer, it appears to the trustees that its acceptance 
might lead to misapprehensions injurious to the inte- 
rests of the college. They therefore feel compelled 
respectfully to decline the offer of the committee, at 
the same time thankfully acknowledging the good 
feeling towards the college testified by it." The 
trustees had no sympathy with Robert Owen's reli- 
gious views, and could not approve of any act which 
would appear to sanction them; nor did they like his 
social theories, but these alone would not have led 
them to take the decisive course which they adopted. 
Their position was one of great delicacy, for it 
must ever seem ungracious to refuse what is kindly 

In the autumn of 1866, Mr. A. T. Bentley, B.A., of 
Trinity College, Cambridge, was appointed assistant 
lecturer in classics and mathematics. 

At a meeting held on the 28th February, 1867, a 
letter was read from Mr. J. P. Aston, tendering his 
resignation of the office of secretary to the college. 
Mr. J. Holme Nicholson was appointed in his place. 
Mr. Aston continued to be the trusty adviser of the 
college till his death ; but as his name as secretary will 
not appear again in this record, it may be well here 
to give a sketch of his life. 

John Partington Aston was born at Manchester, 
November 9th, 1805, and was the son of John Aston 
and Alice, daughter of John Partington, both of the 
same place. He was sent to the grammar school of 
his native town, February i7th, 1816, and was placed 
under the care of the Rev. George Holt, the assistant 
to the second master, the Rev. Robinson Elsdale, a 
gentleman who afterwards took his degrees of B.D. 
and D.D., and succeeded to the high mastership at the 


death of Dr. Jeremiah Smith. 1 Mr. Aston remarks of 
this period : 2 " To Mr. Elsdale I look back with grateful 
recollection as a good disciplinarian 3 and kindly en- 
courager of those whom he considered as industrious 
students. I passed through his class with satisfac- 
tion." Aston was afterwards in due course placed 
under the assistant of the high master, but did not 
remain long enough at the school to enjoy the benefit 
of Dr. Smith's tuition, " though he became sufficiently 
known to him to have the honour of his acquaintance 
in later life." 

In the year 1822 young Aston was articled to Mr. 
William Claughton, an attorney in Manchester of high 
reputation as a conveyancer and real property lawyer, 
and shortly before that gentleman's death was trans- 
ferred as an articled clerk to Mr. Thomas A ins worth, 
solicitor, and father of the future novelist, William 
Harrison Ainsworth. After Mr. Ainsworth's death, 
Aston was transferred to Mr. James Crossley, the 
partner of his late master, with whom he completed 
his clerkship. Mr. Crossley was the president of the 
Chetham Society at the time of his death and for many 
years previously. 

Mr. Aston was admitted an attorney and solicitor in 
Easter term, 1828, and at the beginning of the following 
year, along with Mr. John Barlow, became a partner 
with Mr. Alexander Kay, 4 who was a solicitor in con- 
siderable practice ; the new firm rising to eminence as 

1 Manchester School Register, iii. , pt. i. , p. 8. 

Copy of MS. written by J. P. Aston and kindly lent to this writer by Edward 
Aston, Esq. 

8 Mr. Finch Smith, M. S. Reg., iii., pt. i., p. 9, says: "Those who passed 
under Mr. Elsdale's care in their course through the school found that the art of 
caning had not quite disappeared with Mr. Lawson." 

4 See p. 85. 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1865-61872. 291 

Kay, Barlow, and Aston. On Mr. Kay's retirement in 
1842, the business continued under the firm of Barlow 
and Aston, and at the dissolution of this partnership 
Mr. Aston continued the business, and was subsequently 
joined by his son. John Owens was a client of Kay, 
Barlow, and Aston ; and Mr. Aston became the first 
secretary and one of the solicitors of the college. Mr. 
Aston commanded the respect and esteem of the trustees 
of the old college and of the council of the new one, 
and at his death the following resolution was passed : 
" That the council desires to express its sorrow for 
the loss which the college has sustained by the death 
of Mr. J. P. Aston, whose intimate relations with the 
college extended over a period of more than thirty 
years, first as solicitor and secretary to the trustees for 
educational purposes, and from the year 1867 until his 
death as solicitor and honorary secretary to the trustees 
and the incorporated college. The council records its 
high appreciation of his services, and of his unwearied 
devotion to the interests of the college at all times, but 
especially in the difficult and laborious task of organising 
the college at its foundation, and begs leave to offer to 
the Misses Aston and the other members of his family 
its sincere sympathy with them in their bereavement." 

In the year 1862 a fund was raised by donations for 
establishing three scholarships " for better enabling 
scholars of the Manchester Free Grammar School, 
entering as students at Owens College, to defray the 
expenses of such studentship." Mr. Aston was one of 
the trustees of that foundation. 

He married, in 1831, Anne, daughter of Mr. Samuel 
Gasquoine, and had issue a son and three daughters. 
In the MS. Mr. Aston says: "During my clerkship, 
and previously to my establishment in professional 


practice (not having before me the fear of Pope's cen- 
sure on scribbling clerks), I occasionally contributed to 
the then popular annuals and other periodicals, and 
produced some slight works in prose and verse, which 
were published anonymously. The only one which I 
think worth mentioning is a romance, entitled Sir 
John Chiverton, nor should I have excepted this had 
it not been thought worthy of mention by Sir Walter 
Scott, 1 not unfavourably as one of those literary pro- 
ductions which the great enchanter had 'himself called 
into birth." 

The Manchester City News of May 24th, 1884, in 
describing the sale of Mr. James Crossley's books, says : 
"Cheviot Tichburn's The Maids Revenge, and Summer 
Evening s Tale, with other poems, with autograph letter 
from the author (J. P. Aston) to Mr. Crossley respecting 
the authorship, very rare, 1823. . . . The note in 
Mr. Aston's handwriting was, 'A considerable number 
of the following slight effusions were written by John P. 
Aston.' ' He was only eighteen years old when they 
were written and twenty when published. 

It is to be regretted that a man of Mr. Aston's ability 
has left so little record of his professional life behind 
him. The only printed matter by him which this writer 
has seen is a small pamphlet entitled, "A paper read 
at the annual provincial meeting of the Metropolitan 
and Provincial Law Association, held at Manchester, 
9th October, 1857. By J. P. Aston, Esq. ' On the 

1 This was incorrectly attributed to W. H. Ainsworth by Lockhart. Sir 
Walter wrote, October I7th, 1826: "I read with interest, during my journey, 
Sir John Chimrton and 2 Brambletye House [ 2 by Horace Smith] novels, in what 
I may surely claim as the style, 

' Which I was born to introduce 

Refined it first, and show'd its use.' 
They are both clever books." Life of Sir W, Scott, ix., p. 6. 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1865-6 1872. 293 

Establishment of an Educational Qualification for 
Attorneys' " The author deplored the imperfect educa- 
tion given to articled clerks, and complained that what 
they had was too narrow and cramping ; he longed for 
a wider outlook. He said that technical examinations, 
to which articled clerks were subjected prior to admis- 
sion, were a very imperfect test of the education of the 
examinant, or of that discipline by which education 
seeks to train the powers, and elevate and strengthen 
the character of the student. He may have acquired a 
certain amount of information, but of education, in any 
just sense of the term, he may be wholly devoid. The 
tendency, said he, of a merely technical course of studies 
is unavoidably to contract the mental faculties, and 
hence professional students require, perhaps, more than 
young men devoted to other pursuits in life, the en- 
larging influence of a liberal education. He stated that 
an educational qualification for admission was required 
by the medical profession, and in the various depart- 
ments of the military profession and civil service ; but 
less had been done for law than for any other profession. 
They must not look to the legislature, nor to the ad- 
ministrators of the law to alter this, but to their own 
law associations. " The associations have, I believe," 
said he, " the power to confer great further benefit by 
insisting on and promoting the educational qualifica- 
tion of attorneys." He suggested the establishment 
of junior associations, to which young men should be 
admitted after a moderate educational test ; the senior 
association could be recruited from the junior. It is 
probable that this paper had its influence upon the 
profession, who a few years later established the law 
, lectures in the college. 

On 3oth May, 1867, Principal Greenwood reported 


that from information given him by Professor Henry 
Rogers, the principal of the Independent College, it 
had been resolved in the next session to send a con- 
siderable number of their students for instruction in 
classics, mathematics, English, and other subjects. 
" There is room to hope," said Mr. Greenwood, " that 
this step will lead to the abolition, in the course of 
time, of the non-theological faculty in that college, and 
the resort of its students to us for all their secular 
teaching." This wish has practically been fulfilled to 
the advantage of both colleges. 

There were other gratifying signs of progress. The 
principal in his first report to the trustees for the 
session 1867-8 stated that there were fifty per cent 
more students attending the day classes than at a 
similar period in the past year. Highly satisfactory as 
this was in itself, it made the need of additional class 
rooms more pressing, and furnished the building com- 
mittee with a more urgent argument in their appeal for 
help. The students of the Manchester Royal School 
of Medicine requested to be allowed to attend, at a 
reduced fee, that portion of the senior course of 
chemistry lectures which treated on organic chemistry. 
This was granted. 

During the preceding year the leading engineers of 
Manchester and the neighbourhood very generously 
responded to the expressed desire for an engineering 
department. Gradually but surely the college was 
pushing its way into the front rank among similar 
institutions. Each fresh success only served to make 
the deficiencies more painfully apparent. If the chemists 
of Manchester could justly regard their special science 
as being well represented in the laboratory and the 
professionals at Owens College, the engineers and 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1865-61872. 295 

mechanicians had to confess to a woful shortcoming. 
This they felt must be set right. 

A meeting was held at the Town Hall, December 
nth, 1 866, of some of the leading engineers of the town 
and neighbourhood, when they resolved : " That it is 
expedient to establish a professorship of civil and 
mechanical engineering, together with a special library, 
a museum of models, a drawing class, etc., in connection 
with and under the management of the trustees for the 
time being of Owens College ; and that a subscription 
be at once entered into with a view to raise a sum of 
.10,000 for this purpose, and for such adjuncts as the 
fund may be adequate to." The committee matured 
their scheme and canvassed for donations, and in the 
following year a sub-committee, consisting of Messrs. 
Joseph Whitworth, William Fairbairn, Charles F. 
Beyer, and John Robinson, was appointed to hand over 
the money already subscribed, and all moneys which 
might hereafter be subscribed for the same object to 
the trustees of Owens College, to be used by them for 
the purposes expressed in the resolution of December 
nth, 1866. The sum amounted to 9,50$* 

At their meeting on 28th November, 1867, the trus- 
tees stated that they had received with much satisfaction 
the communication of the honorary secretary (Mr. 
Robinson) to the committee of engineers, and desired 
to record their great appreciation of the valuable service 
rendered to the college and to the engineering profession 
by his zealous and successful efforts to promote the 
foundation of a chair of civil and mechanical engineering 
in the college. The committee continued to act on 
behalf of the trustees, and lost no time in advertising 

1 See Appendix iii. 


for a professor ; to this eighteen replies were sent. The 
committee were not satisfied with the qualifications of 
the applicants, and it was thought this might be owing 
to the remuneration being insufficient. Mr. Beyer, 
whose munificence has yet to be recorded, thereupon 
most generously offered to supplement the salary by 
the sum of ^250 a year for five years. Under these 
new conditions the committee determined to advertise 
afresh, with a guarantee that the stipend should not be 
less than ^500 a year. On the 26th March, 1868, Mr. 
Osborne Reynolds, B.A., fellow of Queens' College, 
Cambridge, was appointed the professor of engineering. 
Whether this Manchester movement suggested that 
much larger benefaction, which may fittingly be de- 
scribed as national, cannot be said ; but it is certain that 
the founder of it was among the most interested and 
generous of the supporters of the engineering scheme 
in connection with the college. 

On April 2nd, 1868, Lord Robert Montagu stated 
in the House of Commons that Mr. Whitworth had 
made a most munificent offer for the promotion of tech- 
nical education, which the Privy Council had gratefully 
accepted. This pleasing announcement naturally caused 
much excitement, and the daily press commented fully 
upon it. The minute of the Privy Council on Educa- 
tion stated that: " In his letter of the i8th March, 
1868, addressed to the Premier, Mr. Whitworth offers 
to found thirty scholarships of the annual value of ^100 
each, to be applied to the further instruction of young 
men, natives of the United Kingdom, selected by open 
competition for their intelligence and proficiency in 
the theory and practice of mechanics and its cognate 
sciences, with a view to the promotion of engineering 
and mechanical industry in this country ; and he 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1865-6 1872. 297 

expresses hopes that means may be found for bringing 
science and industry into closer relation with each other 
than at present obtains here. . . . Mr. Whitworth 
proposes that these scholarships should be tenable on 
conditions to be denned by a deed of trust regulating 
the administration of the endowment fund during his 
life, and thereafter the management of this fund, subject 
to the conditions specified therein, should rest in the 
Lord President of the Council or other minister of public 
instruction for the time being." 

On the 4th May following, Mr. Whitworth defined 
the conditions of the intended competitions. The can- 
didates were to be subjects of Her Majesty, whether of 
the United Kingdom, India, or the colonies, who were 
not more than twenty-six years of age, and the scholar- 
ships were tenable for two or three years. Successful 
candidates would be required to spend the period of 
holding the scholarships in the further satisfactory pro- 
secution of the studies and practice of mechanical 
engineering, according to the spirit of the endowment ; 
and the student should state where he proposed to do 
this. If he wished to complete his general education 
instead of continuing his special scientific study, he 
might be permitted to do so. He might go to the 
universities or colleges affording scientific or technical 
instruction, or he might travel abroad. The successful 
artisan should be encouraged to study theory, and should 
be aided in getting admission to machine shops and 
other practical establishments. 

At a -college meeting held 24th April, 1868, the 
principal reported the proposal of Mr. Whitworth to 
create for the year 1868-9 sixty exhibitions of ^"25 each, 
the holders of which were to engage to compete for the 
Whitworth Engineering Scholarship in May, 1869, and 


to prepare themselves for the competition during their 
tenure of the exhibitions ; and, further, that Mr. Whit- 
worth had placed eight of these exhibitions at the dis- 
posal of the trustees of Owens College. His words 
were : " Eight exhibitions to Owens College and two 
to the Grammar School, Manchester, the seat of my 
workshops." One of the college exhibitions was ceded 
to the Mechanics' Institution. Professor Jack mentioned 
a suggestion of Mr. Whitworth, that in case there were 
any artisans now appointed to the exhibitions they 
might have their college fees remitted. The professors 
declared themselves willing to adopt the suggestion. 
Certain difficulties arose in carrying out Mr. Whitworth's 
plans, owing to the unpreparedness of the artisan can- 

On 2Oth January, 1870, the principal reported that 
the professors were most anxious to encourage "a more 
prolonged and systematic study by such artisans as 
showed themselves to possess superior abilities," by 
attending day instead of evening classes ; they agreed, 
therefore, to forego their fees on certain conditions, and 
resolved : " That in the case of bond fide workmen who 
have obtained, or may next year obtain, Whitworth 
exhibitions, the fees of such lecture classes as they may 
be recommended to attend by the principal be remitted." 

It is fitting to draw attention to these generous acts. 
The professors receive a portion of the fees paid by the 
students, and these items form a large part of their 
total emolument. For this they have both to instruct 
and examine their students ; sometimes they have 
specially to examine some of their class who may be 
competing for scholarships, in accordance with the con- 
ditions of the endowment ; it is therefore unreasonable 
that they should, in addition to this extra labour, forego 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1865-6 1872. 299 

in the case of the successful competitor the usual share 
of fees. Scholarships and fellowships are very valuable 
helps to students and the college, if they are left to the 
governing body to administer without being clogged 
with minute conditions which may seriously lessen the 
value of the gift. 

Mr. Henry Cole officially informed the trustees that 
Mr. Whit worth had bestowed the eight exhibitions on 
the college for the year 1868-9, on the conditions above 
mentioned, and in their resolution of thanks the trustees 
stated " that they would give their hearty cooperation 
to Mr. Whitworth's patriotic endeavour to benefit the 
mechanical and engineering industry of the country." 
The arrangements for these exhibitions were referred 
to a sub-committee, who were requested to draw up 
a letter expressing to Mr. Whitworth the deep sense 
entertained by the trustees of the value of his munificent 
endowment for the promotion of the study of science 
and its application to engineering. 

The following year the number of the exhibitions 
was reduced to five, two being given to the day and 
three to the evening classes. They ceased with these. 

In 1869, there were ten of the Whitworth Scholar- 
ships of ^"100 each competed for with one hundred 
and six candidates. The first was won by Mr. W. H. 
Greenwood, a student in both the day and evening 
classes of the college ; the third was won by Mr. John 
Hopkinson [now D.Sc., F.R.S.], and the fourth by 
Mr. Elgood : both were former students of the college. 
The completed arrangements placed the new depart- 
ment in a favourable position, and its friends had the 
satisfaction of learning that the Secretary of State for 
India in council recognised it " as possessing an efficient 
class for instruction in engineering with a view to the 


preparation of candidates for admission to the com- 
peting examinations for appointments to the Indian 
Public Works Department." 

In the early summer of 1868, Mr. Richard Johnson, 
a member of the executive, suggested that it would be 
valuable to the committee in respect to the planning of 
the new buildings and the establishment of classes and 
professorships, if any of the professors were going to 
the continent during the vacation, that they should visit 
the universities and gymnasia abroad, and report on the 
construction of the buildings and the methods of instruc- 
tion, especially in science. Professors Greenwood and 
Roscoe prepared a list of suggestions, of which the 
following were the most important: 

The scheme of the tour of inspection of foreign 
(especially German) universities and polytechnic schools, 
so far as the scientific department is concerned, is : One 
or two competent science teachers should be directed 
personally to inspect the chief schools of science and to 
report to the extension committee : 

I. (a) As to the extent of the teaching power in the 
science department of these schools, (i) Number and 
exact duties of the professorial staff in each university 
and school, with salaries and remuneration from fees ; 

(2) Number of salaried assistants to each professor ; 

(3) Number and duties of inferior servants. (6) As to 
number, age, class, etc., of the students in each subject, 
with reference to the special objects for which the 
student enters the school. Length of time of study, 
proficiency attained, tables of courses of study, etc., etc. 
(c) As to the amount of funds placed at the disposal 
of the various departmental heads for carrying on the 
work of the various classes, laboratories, and apparatus, 
funds, etc. 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1865-6 1872. 301 

II. That the inspectors be directed to obtain plans 
as complete as possible of the buildings, and especially 
details of the internal fittings and appliances of the 
newest laboratories, chemical and physical, museums of 
natural history, and lecture rooms for science classes, 
physical and chemical cabinets, apparatus, engineering 
models, etc. 

III. The following are the most important towns 
containing new and well-appointed science schools 
which should be inspected, and upon the model of one 
or more of which the new college buildings might be 
arranged: (a) Berlin, i, The University [the details 
are omitted]; 2, Gewerbe Institut; (b) Hanover, Large 
Polytechnic School ; (c] Leipsic, University, labora- 
tories, etc.; (d] Gottingen, University, laboratories, etc.; 
(e) Bonn, University, laboratories, etc.; (/^Heidelberg, 
University, laboratories, etc.; (g] Carlsruhe, Polytech- 
nic School, laboratories, etc.; (k) Stuttgart, Polytechnic 
School, laboratories, etc.; (z) Zurich, i, Polytechnic 
School, laboratories, etc.; 2, University, laboratories, etc. 

IV. If thought desirable the great mining schools of 
Freiberg in Saxony, or Clausthal in the Hartz, could 
also be visited to get ideas as to the establishment of 
a chair of mining and practical geology. It was not 
thought necessary to visit Paris, Munich, or Vienna, 
nor Belgium or Holland. 

The report was approved and adopted, and Professors 
Greenwood and Roscoe were requested to visit the 
places named. The result of the visit was an exhaus- 
tive report on the universities and high schools of 
Bonn, Gottingen, Hanover, Berlin, Leipsic, Freiberg, 
Heidelberg, Carlsruhe, Munich, and Zurich. It was 
of great assistance to the executive in the important 
work they had in hand. 


An indication of a coming change of public opinion 
was afforded by the professors in the early days of 
1869. At one of their college meetings they resolved 
unanimously that in their opinion the attention of the 
executive committee should be invited to the possi- 
bility that arrangements might be called for at some 
future time for the education of women within the 
walls of Owens College. The time came, and its 
results will be duly chronicled. The records of the 
proceedings of trustees from this period are com- 
paratively few : their duties were those of a provi- 
sional committee, who had to carry on till a larger 
body took up their work. The trustees were largely 
represented on the extension committee, and this 
body took in hand all that related to building, the 
increase of the teaching staff, and the framing of a new 

A pleasing sign of growth was the application, by 
the Manchester Chemists and Druggists' Association, 
that provision might be made at Owens College for 
giving chemists and druggists' assistants instruction in 
pharmaceutical chemistry, in botany, and in Latin, of a 
sort to enable them to pass the examination imposed 
by the new Pharmacy Act. A scheme was drawn up 
in accordance with that application, and it was arranged 
that for the remainder of the session 1868-9 a course 
of twenty lectures on pharmaceutical chemistry, and a 
similar course of physiological botany should be given 
to evening students. These classes were afterwards 
suspended, but the subjects became a regular part of 
medical training. 

The trustees and professors again offered two exhibi- 
tions to the successful candidates of the Oxford Local 
Examinations; these exhibitions entitled the holders to 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1865-6 1872, 303 

a three years' studentship free from any payment of 
fees. An application was made by the council of the 
Union of Mechanics' Institutes in Lancashire and 
Cheshire that free admission to the college courses 
should be given to the successful artisan candidates for 
the " Rumney" Exhibition, inasmuch as a grant of 
money of like amount as the exhibition would be made 
to the exhibitioner by the Science and Art Department, 
on condition that the exhibition be held at an institution 
in which the fees would be remitted. The professors 
generously recommended the trustees to remit the fees 
to the successful exhibitioner of 1869 and the two 
immediately preceding years. 

Ere the year closed another donation was made to 
the college, which, although small in amount, was very 
welcome. This was a balance of the " Strike Lecture 
Fund." The condition of acceptance was that two public 
free lectures on political economy should be delivered 
each year. It was agreed that the first lecture in 
each course on political economy should be free to the 
public, and that a special lecture, also free, should be 
given each session by the professor. The amount 
available was ^200. 95. lod. 

On 2Oth January, 1870, a letter was received from 
Mr. T. D. Ryder, one of the executors of the late 
Bishop of Manchester, announcing that the bishop had 
bequeathed to the college the whole of his library, with 
the exception of two hundred and fifty volumes to be 
selected by Mrs. Lee. A committee was appointed to 
arrange with the executors to take charge of the books, 
with power to take necessary steps for their removal 
and temporary bestowal. In sending their acknowledg- 
ments to Mr. Ryder for his welcome communication, 
the trustees added that they accepted the bequest with 


a strong sense of the great value to Owens College of 
so large and choice a collection, and that they would 
proceed to consider in what way the library might be 
permanently arranged so as to contribute most effectu- 
ally to the promotion of sound learning. This bequest 
was of great value to the college, both for the number 
and rarity of some of the books : they were arranged 
with due care by Professor Ward, who also prepared a 

Owing to the increase of his private engagements 
Mr. Christie was compelled to relinquish his profes- 
sorial connection with the college, and in March, 1870, 
Mr. James Bryce, B.C.L., fellow of Oriel College, 
Oxford, was invited to accept the office of the pro- 
fessorship of jurisprudence and law. Mr. Bryce had 
given law lectures in the college during the previous 
three sessions, and the trustees were fortunate in 
securing his services as professor. Within two months 
of this appointment Mr. Bryce was elected professor 
of civil law in the University of Oxford, but these 
duties fortunately did not at the time interfere with 
those at Manchester. 

In the following month of June, Mr. Samuel Fielden, 
of Todmorden, made an offer to the trustees, which led 
to an important expansion in one department of the 
college. The trustees were placed in a position of 
difficulty : they had not only to appeal to the public for 
large sums of money for land and buildings, but they 
had to grapple with the difficulty attendant upon the 
marked success of the college. It became absolutely 
necessary to increase the teaching staff, but there were 
no funds to meet the extra demands on the college 
chest. Mr. Fielden, ever a generous friend to the 
institution, perceiving this, offered to contribute for four 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1865-61872. 305 

years two sums of money ^100 and .50 towards 
the salary of an assistant lecturer in mathematics. In 
his letter he said: " I should deeply regret that any loss 
of efficiency in teaching power (which I think of chief 
importance at this and at all times) should be sustained 
by the college at such a juncture." He offered the 
sum of ,100 a year on the understanding that such 
contribution should in no way prejudice the action of 
the governing body in regard to the permanent estab- 
lishment of such lectureship at a future period, and that 
such contribution should be considered to terminate 
whenever they were in a position to take the whole of 
the stipend upon themselves. The offer of the ^50 a 
year for four years was on condition that the assistant 
lecturer should during those sessions give two courses 
of twenty-five lectures each: One course to a class of 
pupil-teachers or certificated masters; the other course 
to a class of working people both courses of lectures 
to be free of charge to the students, excepting such 
nominal fee as the trustees might find it needful to im- 
pose in order to ensure regularity of attendance and 
work. The subject of the first course was to be mathe- 
matics or Latin; that of the second those portions of 
mathematics which would best enable students to com- 
pete for the Whitworth Exhibitions and Scholarships, 
and also in government science examinations. The 
lecturer was to report at the close of each session to the 
trustees as to the results of the lectures and the desira- 
bility of continuing them. Mr. Fielden was quite 
willing to permit a modification or alteration of the 
classes, subject to his sanction and approval. In case 
it was found that the lectures were a success, and that 
it was desirable to make them permanent, he would be 
glad to aid in furtherance of such a project. The pro- 


posal was thankfully received, and it was agreed by the 
trustees to offer similar amounts to those made by Mr. 
Fielden, the trustees reserving to themselves the right 
of making such modifications in the arrangements of 
the courses, or of discontinuing them altogether, as 
might seem to them expedient. The sum was after- 
wards increased to ^200 a year, till it was merged into 
a permanent endowment. Mr. A. T. Bentley, B.A., 
was appointed assistant lecturer of mathematics, and it 
was understood that there should be : (a) An elementary 
course in mathematics for pupil-teachers only; (6} An 
advanced course in mathematics for pupil-teachers and 
artisans. The classes were to be attached to the 
evening department of the college. 

The professors were anxious to see the college placed 
in an equally advantageous position with the metro- 
politan colleges. They requested the Principal, Pro- 
fessors Jevons and Wilkins to draw up a memorial to 
the Civil Service Commissioners praying for the esta- 
blishment of provincial examinations for admission to 
the civil service. They also appointed the Principal, 
with Professors Barker and Reynolds, to draw up a 
memorial to the India Office on the subject of the pro- 
posed establishment of an Indian engineering college, 
and of the proposed changes in the mode of conferring 
Indian engineering appointments ; and they resolved 
that the trustees be invited to join the professors in 
signing the memorial. The trustees cordially approved 
of the proposals, and in their memorial expressed to the 
Civil Service Commissioners their readiness to give all 
the assistance in their power to enable them to institute 
such examinations and to hold them at the college ; they 
also approved of the memorial respecting the admission 
of candidates to the engineering service of India, and 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1865-61872. 307 

forwarded a copy to the Duke of Argyll, the Secretary 
of State for India. The official document stated that 
the examinations would be held in London, Edinburgh, 
and Dublin, thus omitting most of the great centres of 
population. In respect to the Indian engineering ser- 
vice, it had been resolved to limit all appointments to 
those who had received their training at Cooper's Hill. 
Nothing came of this memorial; the official mind can 
rarely go beyond "capitals." 

The year 1871 opened with sundry changes. Owing 
to his increasing duties as registrar of the college, Mr. 
J. H. Nicholson resigned his office of librarian, and 
Mr. H. C. Oats, B.A., LL.B., was appointed in his 
stead. Owing to serious illness Mr. Oats was unable 
to fill the post, and Mr. J. Taylor Kay was appointed. 
A new class was formed, under the care of Mr. 
Bridge, Mus.D., for the study of the principles of 
harmony and musical composition, and the attendance 
promised to be good. The report of the recent re- 
arrangement of the mathematical department testified 
to very favourable results. 

Mr. Theodores resigned part of his work as pro- 
fessor of modern languages. Dr. Breymann was ap- 
pointed assistant lecturer, with the charge of the French 
classes, and Mr. Theodores retained his position as 
professor of oriental and modern languages. 

Whilst the extension committee were busy with the 
erection of the new building, they and the trustees were 
anxious to adapt the course of teaching to that of a 
full university curriculum. They knew that this could 
not be done without the institution of the faculties of 
medicine and law. In respect of the latter subject they 
sought the advice of their professor of jurisprudence, 
who reported to them on the i8th May, 1871. The 


training of young lawyers had hitherto been very defi- 
cient in Manchester and the provinces, and Mr. Bryce 
pointed out that his scheme of lectures on English law 
included those branches of the subject whereto the 
attention of young men entering the profession ought 
to be more particularly directed. It was drawn up, he 
said, with a view rather to the practical needs of 
students than to scientific propriety of arrangement, 
and therefore did not attempt to take in everything 
which a lawyer ought to learn, but to carry the be- 
ginner over those topics, those principles and rules, 
which were of the greatest substantial importance, and 
in which he was most likely to need help. 

" The aim of a course of oral lectures," said the 
report, " is evidently not to supersede the student's 
private reading, but to give him clear conceptions of 
the leading principles of law, to show him what method 
to pursue, how to arrange his knowledge, and, above all, 
how to apply general principles to the solution of par- 
ticular cases, and understand the relation of special 
rules or enactments to those main doctrines of law 
which they illustrate or modify. . . . In all proba- 
bility a regular school of law will soon be established in 
London, and admission to practice in either branch 
of the profession will be made to depend upon the 
passing of a pretty strict examination. Now it would 
be a serious hardship to Manchester law students to be 
obliged to go for law teaching to London, or Oxford, or 
Cambridge, and a still more serious one to be required 
to pass the examinations on the strength of their own 
reading only, without having had the benefit of any oral 
instruction. There is likely, therefore, to be a real 
demand for such instruction, and Owens College is just 
the institution which may fairly be asked to provide it. 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1865-61872. 309 

I believe I am right in saying that a large proportion of 
the leading professional men in Manchester and the 
neighbouring towns, while welcoming the scheme of 
the Legal Education Association, will be especially 
eager to support it if they see that it is likely to be 
the means of causing better provision for the education 
of young lawyers to be made in Manchester, which may 
for many purposes be regarded as a local metropolis." 
It was thought that students who successfully passed 
their examination might be relieved of one or two of 
the five years in articles. " Such a provision would be 
a great encouragement to diligence on the part of 
articled clerks, and if carried out would be a further 
reason why steps should be taken in Manchester to 
give to studious and industrious clerks whatever help 
lectures can give, and to cooperate with other practi- 
tioners who are anxious to see their clerks thoroughly 

Professor Bryce suggested a two years' course as 
under: First year: (i.) Introductory view of the 
general principles of jurisprudence; (ii.) General intro- 
ductory view of English law, of legal remedies, of 
courts of law and equity; (iii.) Outline of the law of 
real property, with some remarks on conveyancing; 
(iv.) Outline of the law of personal property in general ; 
(v.) Principles of the law of contracts ; (vi.) Rules 
governing some one particular class of contracts (ex. gr. 
sale, agency). Second year: (vii.) Principles of the 
law of torts; (viii.) General view of rights administered 
by courts of equity; (ix.) Closer examination of the 
doctrines of equity in some particular department (ex. 
gr. trusts, fraud, partnership, married women) ; (x.) 
General view of procedure, legal and equitable, and of 
the conduct of actions and suits. 


It was resolved that Mr. Darbishire, with the Prin- 
cipal and Mr. Aston, be authorised to communicate 
to the Incorporated Law Society of Manchester the 
papers forwarded by Professor Bryce, and to arrange 
with the society for such pecuniary and other coopera- 
tion as might be possible, and especially with regard to 
some plan for encouraging the attendance of articled 
clerks of solicitors in Manchester and neighbourhood at 
the lectures. That the same gentlemen be authorised 
to make similar communications to the Incorporated 
Law Society of Liverpool, with a view to arrangements 
for repeating the law courses in that town. 

On the 1 5th June the principal was able to report 
that Mr. Bryce had succeeded in obtaining the services 
of several eminent gentlemen as lecturers ; and Mr. 
Darbishire stated that sufficient funds had been obtained 
to carry on the course. 

On July 2Oth the report of the law lecture committee 
was read, approved, and adopted, viz. : " That the trus- 
tees sanction the extended scheme of lectures prepared 
by Professor Bryce, and accept the guarantee of the 
Manchester Incorporated Law Society." This was 
for ^100 per annum for five years. The Liverpool 
Society also arranged to guarantee a like sum for five 
years for the purpose of securing the repetition in 
Liverpool of the Owens College law lectures. 

On the same date as the approval of the above, the 
mineralogy class was placed under the care of Dr. C. 
A. Burghardt. It was to form part of the third year's 
course in engineering. This was the last act of the 
old management of the college, except that which 
expedited its dissolution. 

At the meeting held August 7th, 1871, arrangements 
were made to give notice for the termination of all 

COLLEGE HISTORY, 1865-61872. 311 

engagements in the old college with professors, teachers, 
lecturers, registrar, paid officers, and servants. Also that 
all funds and endowments were to be transferred to the 
amalgamated college. Also that "all deeds, muniments 
of title, and other documents relating to the said funds, 
investments, and properties so to be conveyed and 
transferred as aforesaid, be delivered to the amal- 
gamated college on such conveyances and transfers 
and connected arrangements having been made." 

Exactly twelve months later, August 7th, 1872, the 
trustees met once more and for the last time. They 
resolved : " THat the recommendations of the joint 
committee contained in their resolution now reported 
be approved of and adopted, and the several deeds 
mentioned in the proceedings be now executed by the 
trustees present, and that the other trustees and late 
trustees parties thereto be requested to execute the 
same, and that the solicitor be instructed to apply to 
them accordingly, and to do all other acts necessary to 
the completion of the deeds." And this was the end 
of old Owens ! 




TT has already been stated that a "new buildings 
* committee" was appointed 1 in January, 1865, and 
that, owing to the deplorable state of trade in 1865-6, 
it was not thought prudent to make an appeal to the 
public for money. The committee, however, was not 
idle: it prepared the way for future activity. It drew 
up a report, the substance of which has been already 
given, and it lapsed into silence for nearly two years. 
In December, 1866, it brought up a further report, in 
which it stated that individual members of the com- 
mittee 2 had been for some time engaged in making 
known the general nature of the college and its claims, 
the desired extension of its means of usefulness, and 
the necessity for new buildings on a more eligible site. 
Their representations had in several influential quarters 
been favourably received, promises of liberal assistance 
having been made. The committee considered it de- 
sirable that the trustees should call into their counsels 
the aid of some of those outside friends, and recom- 
mended that a special meeting of the trustees be held 
at an early date, at which gentlemen who had promised 

1 See p. 245. 

* Messrs. J. M. Bennett, Ivie Mackie, W. H. Houldsworth, John Robinson, 
and James Heald had been added to the new buildings committee. 


their assistance should be invited to attend, with a view 
to affording their advice and suggestions and discussing 
the further steps to be taken. 

Two reports had been prepared and privately circu- 
lated. One had reference to the medical school; the 
other gave a history of the college, its rise and growth : 
it also referred to the desirability of a union of the 
Natural History Society and the medical school with 
the college. This document was accompanied with a 
circular stating that 100,000 would be required to 
meet the needs indicated in the report. 

The professors also drew up a memorandum in which 
they expressed their opinions on the proposed building, 
the site, and also on "a very considerable extension of 
the scheme of studies pursued." They suggested a 
division of the chair of classics into two one of Greek, 
the other of Latin and comparative grammar. They 
pointed out that in the department of theoretical and 
applied science the following branches of scientific and 
professional study were entirely unrepresented : i . 
Civil and mechanical engineering ; 2. Astronomy and 
meteorology; 3. Applied geology and mining. They 
also advised, if funds allowed of it, some provision for 
students who lived at a distance, and suggested halls of 
residence under separate trusts. 

On the 1 7th January, 1867, the new buildings com- 
mittee again urged the trustees to hold a private 
meeting of gentlemen favourable to the scheme of 
extension of the college, who should confer with the 
trustees upon the whole subject. The report was ap- 
proved and adopted, and the meeting was convened for 
the twenty- third day of the same month. It consisted 
of trustees, professors, and friends of the college, when 
the general scheme of extension was fully discussed 


and favourably received, and the following resolutions 
were passed: "ist. That this meeting, having heard 
the statement of the chairman of the trustees of Owens 
College as to the position of the college and the pro- 
posed extensions of its means of usefulness, and the 
observations of the several speakers, express their 
decided opinion in favour of such extensions being 
made on a comprehensive scheme adapted to the wants 
of the district, and to raise a fund for the purpose of 
not less than .100,000 or upwards ; and the meeting 
declares its willingness to assist in promoting such a 
scheme, and requests the trustees to convene a public 
meeting at the Town Hall at an early date to consider 
the subject, and to take steps for determining on a 
scheme and carrying it into effect." " 2nd. That a 
committee be appointed to prepare resolutions and 
arrange the business of the proposed meeting consist- 
ing of Messrs. Neild, Houldsworth, and Robinson 
(trustees), Messrs. Greenwood, Christie, and Roscoe 
(professors), and Messrs. J. L. Kennedy, Thomas 
Ashton, Richard Johnson, and C. F. Beyer." 

The meeting was held at the Town Hall, February 
ist, 1867, the Mayor (Robert Neill, Esq.) in the chair. 
There were also present : The High Sheriff (Sir E. 
Armitage), the Mayor of Salford (H. D. Pochin, Esq.), 
the Dean of Manchester, the Revs. Canon Gibson and 
E. H. M. Birch, J. H. Gwyther, J. Worthington, and 
Brooke Herford ; T. Bazley, M.P., J. T. Hibbert, 
M.P., and J. Platt, M.P.; A. Neild, W. H. Houlds- 
worth, J. E. Taylor, R. D. Darbishire, J. Robinson, 
M. Gladstone, and J. Heald, trustees of Owens 
College ; Principal Greenwood, Professors Barker, 
Christie, Jack, Jevons, Roscoe, Ward, Williamson, 
and Theodores ; T. Ashton, J. Heron, J. Carlisle, 


Samuel Robinson, S. M. Bradley, W. R. Callender, 
sen., J. F. Cheetham, Richard Johnson, J. L. Kennedy, 
W. R. Callender, jun., O. Hey wood, R. Worthington, 
W. R. Wood, S. J. Stern, W. T. Blacklock, Alderman 
T. D. Crewdson, J. H, Jackson, T. D. Ryder, H. B. 
Jackson, J. Radcliffe, T. Johnson, J. Thorburn, J. 
Kendall, R. P. Greg, P. R. Jackson, T. B. Foster, 
E. C. Howard, John Hopkinson, Joseph Thompson, 
James Houldsworth, H. R. Greg, C. J. Souchay, J. A. 
Bremner, S. Schuster, E. R. Langworthy, Malcolm 
Ross, Arthur Greg, H. M. Acton, H. C. Oats, Harry 
Rawson, T. Worthington, E. J. Broadfield, J. P. Joule, 
F.R.S., H. F. Pankhurst, J. P. Aston, and J. H. 
Nicholson ; Drs. S. Crompton, William Roberts, J. E. 
Morgan, H. Simpson, Schunck, Noble, Angus Smith, 
Harland, and Fryer. 

After statements made by the Mayor of Manchester 
and Principal Greenwood, it was moved by the Very 
Rev. the Dean, seconded by Oliver Hey wood, Esq., 
and resolved: "ist. That this meeting, having heard 
with satisfaction the statements of the trustees and pro- 
fessors of Owens College as to its constitution, opera- 
tions, and present success, and the suggestions offered 
for supplying the requirements of the college, and for 
rendering it on an extended basis, in effect, the univer- 
sity of Lancashire and the neighbouring counties, is of 
opinion that the time has come for the public of the 
district to unite for the purpose of developing the col- 
lege on a more comprehensive scale, and in appropriate 
and convenient buildings." 

2nd. It was moved by Thomas Bazley, Esq., M.P., 
seconded by Thomas Ashton, Esq., supported by Sir 
Elkanah Armitage, Knt, high sheriff of Lancashire, 
and unanimously resolved: "That the trustees and 


professors, and Messrs. T. Ashton, B. Armitage, T. 
Bazley, M.P., S. L. Behrens, C. F. Beyer, W. R. 
Callender, sen., W. Fairbairn, J. Snowden Henry, O. 
Heywood, R. Johnson, J. L. Kennedy, E. R. Lang- 
worthy, H. J. Leppoc, I vie Mackie, Richard Peacock, 
Mark Philips, R. N. Philips, M.P., John Platt, M.P., 
Edmund Potter, M.P., T. P. Potter, M.P., Samuel 
Robinson, S. J. Stern, C. P. Stewart, Joseph Whit- 
worth, James Worthington, and Thomas Wrigley, with 
power to add to their number, constitute a committee 
for raising a fund, which it is desirable should not be 
less than ,100,000, or, if possible, .150,000, for the 
purpose of carrying into effect the proposed system of 
extension." (This was afterwards enlarged to include 
all present at the meeting.) 

3rd. It was moved by W. R. Callender, sen., Esq., 
seconded by John Platt, Esq., M.P., and unanimously 
resolved: " That an executive committee be appointed, 
consisting of: Thomas Ashton, chairman; Oliver Hey- 
wood, treasurer ; B. Armitage, C. F. Beyer, W. R. 
Callender, jun., R. Johnson, J. L. Kennedy, S. J. Stern, 
Principal Greenwood, Professor Christie, Professor 
Roscoe, and six trustees of the college, with power to 
add to their number; and that such committee have 
power to determine on and carry out measures for 
raising the required fund, and that they be requested 
to prepare a scheme of such extent as may be deemed 
desirable and warranted by the funds subscribed, such 
scheme to include the recommendation of a site and of 
plans of buildings, the endowment of professorships, 
and other means of imparting instruction and encou- 
raging study in the various departments of learning 
and liberal arts, and of science and its application. 
The committee to report from time to time to its sub- 


scribers." The six trustees were R. D. Darbishire, 
Murray Gladstone, A. Neild, J. Robinson, J. E. Taylor, 
and W. H. Houldsworth. In their first report the 
executive stated that they had added to the committee 
the names of Joseph Whitworth, D.C.L., F.R.S., 
J. P. Joule, LL.D., F.R.S., Joseph Thompson, and 
Herbert Philips. Mr. John Watts, Ph.D., was ap- 
pointed secretary. 

The executive committee held its first meeting on 
the 1 3th February following, at the Royal Institution, 
and continued to make that building its meeting place, 
with one short interval, till it found its permanent home 
in the new college. It appointed: 

(a) A Canvassing and Finance Committee, consisting 
of Mr. Ashton, chairman ; Professor Greenwood and 
Mr. W. H. Houldsworth, honorary secretaries; Messrs. 
Beyer, Gladstone, Johnson, Kennedy, Robinson, and 
Stern. This was greatly enlarged in June, 1868, and 
was drafted from the general committee, from the 
cotton famine relief collecting committee, and from the 
general public. 

(6) The Site Committee: The Chairman, the Hono- 
rary Secretaries, and Messrs. Callender, Gladstone, 
Hey wood, Neild, Roscoe, and Stern. 

(c] A Building Committee, to consider and report 
upon the plan, extent, and general arrangements of the 
proposed new college buildings. It consisted of: 1 
Messrs. C. F. Beyer, M. Gladstone, J. L. Kennedy, 
R. Johnson, A. Neild, John Robinson, H. E. Roscoe, 
S. J. Stern, Joseph Thompson, Joseph Whitworth, the 
Chairman, and the Honorary Secretaries. 

(a') The Constitution Committee, to consider and re- 

1 Appointed December Qth, 1868. 


port upon matters connected with the extension and 
rearrangement of the courses of study, and of amalga- 
mation with and affiliation to other educational institu- 
tions. It consisted of (as reconstituted December gih, 
1868) Messrs. B. Armitage, W. R. Callender, jun., 
R. C. Christie, R. D. Darbishire, Oliver Heywood, 
Alfred Neild, J. P. Joule, Herbert Philips, H. E. Roscoe, 
J. E. Taylor, Joseph Thompson, the Chairman, and 
the Honorary Secretaries. 

One of the first subjects for consideration by the 
executive was the position of the Natural History 
Society. Mr. Darbishire reported on 2;th February, 
1867, that the society had determined to close the 
museum and sell off large portions of the collection. 
The executive respectfully drew the attention of the 
society to the communication made by the trustees of 
the college in 1865, and stated that as they had col- 
lected some funds towards the new building, they hoped 
to be in a position to lay a well-matured scheme before 
the society in a few months. The subject occupied 
much of the attention of the executive, and led to a 
successful conclusion. 1 

A circular was issued to the public in March, in 
which the needs of the college were recapitulated, and 
a brief notice of the meeting held at the Town Hall 
on February ist, with the resolutions passed, was 
added. A statement was also prepared by the pro- 
fessors, giving in detail a list of the departments and 
classes, the professors and lecturers' names, the num- 
ber of lectures per week, and the number of students 
in attendance. These were followed by more important 
papers. It was stated that the income from endow- 

1 See chapter x. 


ments was ,3,000, and from students' fees ,2,000, or 
a total of "5,000. But this was more than met by 
payment to professors and teachers and to general 
expenses. There were other branches of study which 
imperatively called for attention, but it was impossible 
to do anything more with existing endowments; more- 
over, the class rooms were already inconveniently 
crowded, and any considerable addition to them would 
be impossible. It was therefore absolutely necessary to 
provide enlarged accommodation. The disadvantages 
of the existing site and the difficulties of increasing 
it were dwelt upon. The only alternative seemed to 
be removal, and if that were decided on the trustees 
very properly thought that the opportunity should not 
be lost of laying the foundation of what might ulti- 
mately become in effect the university of the manu- 
facturing districts. 

The executive committee, in reviewing the position, 
came to the following conclusions : (a] That, while 
making provision for young men whose school educa- 
tion is complete, they should especially give due pro- 
minence to the studies which form the scientific basis of 
the practical arts which are so widely cultivated in the 
Manchester district, and on which so much of its pros- 
perity depends. The results since the foundation of the 
college had on the whole been satisfactory. The num- 
bers had increased, and the average age of the students 
had been raised "from the age of school-boys to that of 
young men." The number of classes attended by each 
student had increased from 2*5 in the earlier years of 
the college to 4*25 in the present session. These facts, 
the committee thought, led to the conclusion that in a 
few years there would be in the district a much more 
wide-spread demand for the higher education than there 


was then ; and that a university training, which at one 
time was decried as unsuitable for business men, would 
become more justly appreciated. With the increase of 
population, wealth, and intelligence in Lancashire, it did 
not seem improbable that in a few years there would 
be several hundred students in regular attendance at 
Owens College, (ti] There was another ground for 
anticipating increased importance for Owens College. 
Engineering and some branches of manufacturing art 
had risen to or were rising to the rank of liberal pro- 
fessions. Something was being done to meet these 
facts, and it was hoped that in the college a school of 
science might be raised second to none in the country, 
and which in time might emulate those famous con- 
tinental schools to which so many English students 
were attracted, (c] Owens College was not only a 
college: it was affiliated with London University, and 
the examinations for degrees were held in the college. 
The University of Oxford was also drawing nearer and 
having examinations in the town. The trustees had in 
their earliest deliberations contemplated a time when 
Manchester should possess a university having power 
to confer degrees. The time had not yet come, but it 
was hoped that the college would ere long be so fully 
equipped that the trustees might apply for a charter. 1 

1 Attention to this had been drawn by the trustees in a report issued in March, 
1866. They said that for seven years past examinations for degrees in arts and 
science had been held in Owens College by the University of London, and that 
the college was the first to suggest the expediency of holding such examinations, 
and that they had been held there more frequently than in any other place. The 
report spoke of the great advantage these examinations had been to the college. 
More than one hundred and twenty students of Owens had, since its foundation, 
matriculated at London University ; and more than sixty of these had proceeded 
to the higher examinations for degrees. If these numbers did not seem large in 
the aggregate, they compared very well with other colleges when relative age was 
taken into account. It was most gratifying to find from the Calendar of the 
University of London that since the year 1857 the number of candidates who had 


The committee also referred to the advantage there 
would be in taking over the medical school, and in 
providing halls of residence. The committee were 
prepared to offer a large scheme, based upon the 
suggestions made in the professors' report. They 
asked for ,150,000. 

The building sub -committee, at their meeting on 
25th March, requested the honorary secretaries to 
obtain, if possible, plans and details of the academical 
accommodation provided in the University of Glasgow 
(new buildings); the Natural Science Museum, Oxford; 
the new museums of Cambridge; University College, 
London ; and the Queen's Colleges of Cork and Belfast ; 
and also the number of students attending the several 
faculties in those universities and colleges. The pro- 
fessors were also requested to furnish the committee 
with a statement of the extent of accommodation which, 
in their opinion, was requisite for the convenience of 
the several departments for their existing needs and 
according to the present condition of the college. 

The site sub-committee reported on the most eligible 
sites which had come under their notice. They were : 
i. The plot bounded by Clarendon, Ormond, and 
Devonshire Streets, All Saints. It contained six thou- 
sand seven hundred and fourteen square yards, and was 
valued at 30,000. The objection to it was that the 
area was too small and the cost of it too great. 2. The 
plot bounded by Ackers, Rumford, and Dover Streets, 
and Oxford Road. Part of this had been sold, and it 
was thought the remainder would be too small. 3. A 

obtained honours in chemistry (excluding those granted for medical degrees) was 
for University College eleven, King's College seven, and Owens College fourteen; 
and even including the honours gained at the preliminary scientific M.B. examina- 
tion, though Owens had not a medical school, the numbers were twenty, twelve, 
and seventeen respectively. 



plot on the south side of Ducie Street, containing fifteen 
thousand yards, and one fronting Oxford Street, con- 
taining six thousand nine hundred and fifty yards. 
These conjoint plots were very favourably thought of, 
and the site committee were empowered to obtain from 
the owners a definite offer for the sale thereof. There 
were objections found to this site afterwards, and the 
executive abandoned it on the i6th April. No sub- 
committees reported after this till February, 1868. 

At the meeting of the executive on May ist, Professor 
Roscoe called attention to a paragraph, which had 
recently appeared in a newspaper, stating that the Lords 
of the Council on Education and of the Treasury were 
proposing to reconstruct the institution known as the 
Museum of Irish Industry as a new college of science 
in Dublin, by endowing ten professorships in various 
branches of mathematics and natural science, and by 
founding nine royal exhibitions of 50 each, tenable for 
three years. The total expenditure by government 
would be about ,7,000 a year. Upon a discussion of 
the subject, it was thought that while the action of the 
government would justify an application being made on 
behalf of Owens College, it would be wiser to wait till a 
larger total of subscriptions had been obtained; mean- 
while information might be obtained of the amount 
given to King's College, London, and to the Scottish 

On the 28th December, 1867, Mr. Gladstone laid 
before the meeting a plan of a plot of land, bounded 
on three sides by Coupland Street, Oxford Road, and 
Burlington Street respectively, and gave details as to 
the cost of various portions thereof. Mr. Hewitt also 
supplied information, and was requested to obtain for 
the committee a valuation of some of the property 


adjoining. At a further meeting held February 27th, 
1868, the chairman was authorised to buy the plot, for 
a site for the proposed new college buildings, provided 
that the purchase of the same could be effected for a 
sum not exceeding ,29,000, including chief rent. 

On 3Oth March following, the chairman reported 
that he had bought the property for ,30,200; the 
area of the whole being from eighteen thousand to nine- 
teen thousand square yards. There was an existing 
lease for the riding school which had four years to run. 
It was intended to call a public meeting in consequence 
of this purchase, but as delays arose in making good 
the conveyance (in consequence of the absence in 
Australia of a beneficiary) this was put off. Mr. Ashton 
had the conveyances made out to himself, and in a 
letter to the honorary secretaries he informed them that 
if the extension committee approved of the site and 
decided to take it, and subject to the repayment to him 
or his estate of all expenses incurred by him about the 
purchase, the lands remained in his hands only upon 
trust, first for the indemnity of himself and them from 
all liabilities which they jointly or severally had incurred 
in connection with those purchases, or the advance of 
funds for the same, and secondly for the committee at 
their direction. If the committee should determine not 
to adopt the site, he would take the purchases on his 
own account, and clear them of all liabilities. His 
representatives had full power to deal with the matter 
in case of his death. 

Mr. Darbishire reported on the purchase, and said the 
conveyance had been made of fourteen thousand seven 
hundred and thirty -six square yards, at a cost of 
.19,100, from which there was a yearly income of 
,827. 155. When the whole property should have 


been purchased, the particulars would stand thus : Area 
of available building land, nineteen thousand one hun- 
dred and sixty-four square yards; income therefrom 
yearly, ; 1,204. r 5 s -5 cost f property, ,29,100. It 
was subject to a chief rent of ^58. 55. 

The executive committee now turned their attention 
to obtain government assistance for building, or endow- 
ment, or both. On I3th January, 1868, Mr. [now Sir] 
Bernard Samuelson, M.P., who had recently addressed 
a letter to the Vice-President of the Committee of 
Council on Education 1 concerning technical education 
in various countries abroad, attended, by invitation, to 
confer with the committee on the bearing of his inves- 
tigations and his recommendations to the government 
on the scheme of the extension committee. Mr. Ashton 
and Mr. Greenwood explained to him the work which 
the college was doing, and the circumstances connected 
with its progress which led to the movement for ex- 
tending its operations. Mr. Samuelson disclaimed any 
knowledge of what the government really intended to 
do, but expressed his opinion that they were willing to 
further the spread of the higher scientific education in 
this country. He pointed out that, if the committee 
should propose to apply for government aid, their case 
would probably be strengthened by their showing: (i) 
That the community was prepared to contribute largely 
to the support of a college of science; (2) That such 
an institution would be available not for Manchester 
alone, but for a widely-extended manufacturing com- 
munity; and (3) That, in return for government aid, 
gratuitous or partially gratuitous instruction might be 
given to persons in training as teachers. 

1 Lord Robert Montagu, M.P. 


A deputation of trustees was appointed to attend a 
conference on technical education to be held by the 
Society of Arts, January 23rd, 1868. They reported 
that in the discussion reference was repeatedly made to 
the position of Owens College as the only institution 
outside London which gave a really scientific training, 
and the prospect of its speedy development was noticed 
with warm approval. " The way in which this recog- 
nition of our standing," said the deputation, "proceed- 
ing from such men as Dr. Lyon Play fair, Mr. Austin 
Bruce [Lord Aberdare], and Mr. Samuelson, was 
received by such an assembly as that gathered in the 
rooms of the Society of Arts, must tend, in our opinion, 
to strengthen our hands in any claim we may make for 
national support." Amongst others present were Earl 
Granville, Earl Russell, and the Earl of Chichester. 

A committee was appointed to take such steps as 
they should think expedient, in conjunction with the 
extension committee or other friends of the college, 
towards bringing the claims of the college to national 
support under the notice of government or Parliament, 
and to report to the trustees. A circular was prepared 
in which the history of the college was sketched, with 
a list of its endowments, the value of its property, and 
the amount promised by the public to the building 
fund. It stated that "a conviction is now widely spread 
that there should be in England, as in France and 
Germany, colleges giving instruction, at once complete 
and thorough, in all the leading branches of applied and 
experimental science. It is felt that what is wanted 
is the foundation, not of workshops for teaching manu- 
facturing processes, but of schools of science (i) in 
which those who are to direct the industry of the 
country may receive thorough training in mathematics 


and the principles of physical science ; (2) in which 
those artisans who have proved themselves to be pos- 
sessed of superior parts may, by acquiring a knowledge 
of science, fit themselves to fill more important posi- 
tions ; and (3) in which competent teachers may be 
trained both for the higher posts and for teaching 
soundly the rudiments of science in primary and 
secondary schools. It is evident that no place is more 
fitting than Manchester to be the seat of such a school 
of science." The circular was sent to members of Par- 
liament and others who were favourable to the move- 
ment; and it was resolved to seek an interview with 
the Lord President, the Vice- President of the Com- 
mittee of Council on Education, and the Chancellor of 
the Exchequer, and to lay before them the statement, 
or such portions as might be thought suitable, and to 
prefer a request for aid from the government towards 
the accomplishment of the objects of the extension 
committee. Messrs. Ashton, Houldsworth, and Prin- 
cipal Greenwood were appointed a committee to 
arrange the necessary details connected with the depu- 
tation. Copies of the statement, together with other 
documents of the extension committee, were sent to 
the mayors of each of the corporate towns of Lanca- 
shire, Cheshire, and the West Riding of Yorkshire, 
with a circular letter signed by the chairman of the 
extension committee, the chairman of the trustees, and 
the principal of the college, requesting their support, 
and inviting them to accompany the deputation. 

The first interview with the government was on March 
5th, 1868, when the deputation waited upon the Lord 
President of the Council (the Duke of Marlborough) 
and the Vice- President (Lord Robert Montagu, M.P.). 
The deputation consisted of the Principal of Owens 


College, with Professors Roscoe and Jack ; Messrs. 
Neild, W. H. Houldsworth, E. Ovens, J. E. Taylor, 

E. Hardcastle, and Dr. Eason-Wilkinson, trustees of 
Owens College; Thomas Ashton, Oliver Heywood, 
and S. J. Stern, of the extension committee; the Mayors 
of Manchester, Salford, Bolton, Stockport, from their 
respective corporations; Alderman Bennett (president) 
and Edmund Ashworth, of the Manchester Chamber of 
Commerce; Archdeacon Durnford [Bishop of Chiches- 
ter, 1870]; Canons Hornby and H. M. Birch; Sir 
James Kay-Shuttleworth, F.R.S., James Heywood, 
F.R.S., William Fairbairn, F.R.S., J. P. Joule, F.R.S., 
Dr. Storrar, Joseph Whitworth, F.R.S., C. P. Stewart; 

F. W. Walker, Manchester Grammar School ; Joseph 
Thompson, representing Lancashire Independent Col- 
lege; A. J. Mundella and J. Fox Turner. 

The deputation was accompanied by the following 
members of Parliament : Edward Akroyd, Edward 
Baines, Thomas Barnes, Joseph Cowen, George Dixon, 
M. E. Grant-Duff, Hon. Algernon Egerton, William 
Ewart, John Fildes, W. E. Forster, S. R. Graves, 
Lieut.-Colonel W. Gray, George Hadfield, W. H. 
Hornby, T. B. Horsfall, G. C. Legh, George Melly, 
C. M. Norwood, John Peel, John Platt, Edmund Potter, 
T. B. Potter, R. N. Philips, B. Samuelson, J. B. Smith, 
James Stansfeld, Charles Turner, E. W. Watkin, B. 
Whitworth; and by Mr. J. Laing, vice-president of the 
South of Scotland Chamber of Commerce. 

Mr. Neild reviewed the past history of the college, 
and Principal Greenwood gave details as to its manage- 

Mr. Ashton spoke on behalf of the extension com- 
mittee, and said the scheme had enlarged with the 
success of the canvass for subscriptions. It had been 


thought that ,150,000 was the outside sum that would 
be required, it was now found that it would be barely 
sufficient for the present development of the institution. 

The Mayor of Manchester presented a resolution 
passed by the city council in favour of the application ; 
and similar petitions were presented from the corpora- 
tions of Stockport, Bolton, Stalybridge, and Oldham. 
Various gentlemen spoke in support of the object. 

The Duke of Marlborough, in reply, said the time 
had come when the whole question of such colleges and 
the education provided in them would have to be taken 
into consideration by Parliament. He personally was 
in favour of making grants to such institutions as Owens 
College, and could scarcely see why it should be less 
favourably treated than Glasgow, although that was a 
university. , Hitherto grants had been made principally 
to the metropolitan colleges of the three kingdoms, and 
it might be inconvenient to depart from that limit. The 
statements made to him should have the fullest attention. 

When the arrangements for the interviews were 
made, Mr. Disraeli was Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
but on the 27th of February he succeeded Lord Derby 
as Prime Minister; the deputation could not see him at 
the date of the visit to the Lord President. The inter- 
view took place on the 24th March, 1868, at the official 
residence of the First Lord of the Treasury, in Downing 
Street. The large room looking on to the park was 
well filled with a very influential deputation, consisting 
of: The Principal of the College, and Professors Roscoe, 
F.R.S., and Jack, M.A.; Messrs. Neild (chairman), W. 
H. Houldsworth, Murray Gladstone, J. E. Taylor, 
trustees ; Thomas Ashton (chairman), S. J. Stern, and 
C. F. Beyer, of the extension committee ; the Mayors 
of Manchester, Stockport, Bolton, Warrington, and 


Wigan; Alderman Bennett, president of the Manchester 
Chamber of Commerce ; the Dean of Manchester, Canon 
H. M. Birch, Dr. Schunck, F.R.S., president of the 
Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester ; 
Joseph Thompson, on behalf of Lancashire College ; 
Joseph Whitworth, F.R.S., and C. P. Stewart. 

The following gentlemen accompanied the deputa- 
tion: Mr. George Grote, F.R.S., vice-chancellor of the 
University of London ; Dr. Storrar, chairman of its 
convocation; Dr. Carpenter, V.P.R.S. ; Sir James P. 
Kay - Shuttleworth, F. R.S.; Professor Frankland, 
F.R.S. ; Mr. Douglas C. Richmond, Schools Enquiry 

The following members of Parliament were also 
present : E. Akroyd, E. Barnes, T. Barnes, Jacob 
Bright, John Cheetham, J. Cowen, Sir Francis Crossley, 
Bart., G. Dixon, M. E. Grant-Duff, N. Eckersley, Sir 
Philip de Malpas Grey Egerton, F.R.S., Hon. Algernon 
Egerton, J. Fildes, William Graham, S. R. Graves, 
Lieut.-Col. Gray, Gilbert Greenall, J. T. Hibbert, E. A. 
Leatham, G. C. Legh, G. Melly, J. T. Paget, J. Peel, 
J. Platt, E. Potter, F.R.S., T. B. Potter, R. N. Philips, 
B. Samuelson, J. B. Smith, M. W. Thompson, C. 
Turner, E. W. Watkin, B. Whitworth. The deputa- 
tion was introduced by Mr. Bazley, the senior member 
for Manchester. 

The following gentlemen intended to be present but 
were prevented: Archdeacon Durnford, Canon Anson, 
Rev. W. McKerrow, Rev. A. McLaren, Dr. Sharpey, 
secretary Royal Society, Professor Huxley, William 
Fairbairn, Dr. Joule, James Heywood, the Mayor of 
Salford, Mark Philips, F. W. Walker, Manchester 
Grammar School, Professor Henry Rogers, Lancashire 


Resolutions in favour of a government grant to the 
college were presented from the town councils of Man- 
chester, Salford, Stockport, Bolton, Oldham, Staly- 
bridge, and Wigan. Speeches in advocacy of the 
claims of the college were made by Mr. Hibbert, M.P., 
Principal Greenwood, Mr. Ashton, Mr. Neild, Hon. A. 
Egerton, M.P., Mr. Grote, Sir Philip Egerton, M.P., 
and Sir J. Kay-Shuttleworth. 

Mr. Disraeli, who was accompanied by the Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Ward Hunt), received 
the deputation courteously. It was an interesting scene 
and characteristic of the chief actor. The room was 
well filled and many had to stand. The Premier slipped 
in noiselessly and sat wijh his back to the window. He 
kept his eyes down when the gentlemen spoke and the 
addresses were delivered, but he was not insensible to 
what was going on. Observing Mr. Grote, Sir Philip 
Egerton, and others standing, he addressed them by 
name and requested them to be seated. In his reply 
he assured the deputation of the great importance he 
attached to the subject which they had laid before him. 
The college had evidently done good work and was 
destined to make its influence felt. It had his fullest 
sympathy, and would command the greatest considera- 
tion from his colleagues when he brought its claims 
before them. "But," said he, "if Her Majesty's govern- 
ment, in the exigencies of the state, should be unable 
to comply with your request, I am quite certain that 
the public spirit and the generosity of Lancashire will 
not allow the interests of the college to suffer." This 
was done in his grandest manner. He had a slight 
cold, and held in his hand a large cambric handkerchief 
edged with black, which he freely used as a lady would 
use her fan, as a valuable aid to effect. The impres- 


sion left on the minds of the hearers varied with their 
idiosyncrasies ; some were hopeful, others feared the 
politeness was a cover for refusal. Nothing came of * 
the application. 

Mr. Jacob Bright eloquently pleaded the claims of 
the college in the House of Commons, and obtained the 
thanks of the executive. Mr. Bazley, by personal in- 
fluence among members and by written appeal to the 
Premier, tried to secure a favourable response. He 
reminded Mr. Disraeli that the north-western manufac- 
turing districts had, as largely as any other portion of 
the population, contributed to the exigencies of the 
state and to the prosperity of the empire, and he pleaded 
that the highest mental acquisition should be there 
afforded, in part at least, by the government, and that a 
northern university should be established at Manchester. 
A grant of ,120,000 had been made to Glasgow, and 
he pleaded for a grant to Manchester of ; 100,000 to 
be paid in five yearly instalments. It was promised in 
reply that the subject should have careful attention. 
This was followed up in June by a personal interview 
with Mr. Disraeli by Mr. Bazley and the Hon. Algernon 
Egerton. The Premier freely admitted his approval of 
the proposal which had been made, but stated that 
nothing could be done or finally considered before the 
commencement of the next financial year : he added 
that the conflicting state of parties increased the diffi- 
culty which would attend an immediate grant, and he 
could not entertain the suggestion that he should record 
a Treasury minute. The fact was the military expendi- 
ture amounted to two millions more than the estimates, 
and this was an unpleasant fact to meet when the supply 
had to be voted. It had much more to do with the 
decision than the excuse made by Lord R. Montagu in 


the House of Commons: 1 " Hopes had been held out 
to them [by the government to the college deputations] 
that the scheme of endowment would be carried into 
effect. Unfortunately, just about that period it was 
seen that the result of the elections was likely to be 
adverse to the then government, and therefore the 
matter was not carried further, as it was thought that it 
would be unfair to take the management of the plan out 
of the hands of their successors." 

Unhappily for this statement, Mr. Disraeli's refusal 
was made in the middle of June, 1868; the general 
election was in the latter part of the following Novem- 
ber. The result of the election led to a change of 
government, and on the 9th December Mr. Gladstone 
was called to occupy the position vacated by Mr. 
Disraeli, with Mr. Robert Lowe as Chancellor of the 

No time was lost, for on the same day the question 
of a renewed application to government was considered 
by the executive committee, and after reading a letter 
from Dr. Carpenter, the registrar of London University, 2 
it was agreed that Messrs. Greenwood, Ashton, and 
Dr. Carpenter should have an unofficial interview with 
Mr. Lowe. This was promptly held, and Mr. Lowe 
promised that if a memorial was prepared and sent, 
setting forth the case, it should have full attention. 

The professors, at their college meeting, resolved 
that it "was reasonable and expedient that in con- 
sideration of substantial aid from the national exchequer 
to the Owens College extension scheme, a certain num- 
ber of free government scholars should be admitted 
under proper conditions as students of the college." 

1 See Times, July 2Oth, 1869. 2 Mr. Lowe was M.P. for that university. 


A memorial to the Lords of the Treasury was pre- 
pared, and it was ordered that arrangements be made 
for its presentation. It set forth the nature of Owens's 
bequest, the educational arrangements and discipline of 
the college, the number of students in the different 
departments, their average age, and the amount of fees 
derived from them. It described the old building, 
referred to the insufficiency of the accommodation, and 
spoke of the intention of the trustees and others to 
provide more spacious and more numerous class rooms, 
to found certain new professorships, and to promote 
the efficiency of those already founded by a better pro- 
vision of the necessary appliances. The tendency in 
Manchester was to seek a scientific education; and in a 
great manufacturing district it was most desirable that 
equal facilities should be provided to meet this want 
as was shown in many towns in France and Germany, 
where instruction, at once complete and thorough, in 
all the leading branches of applied and experimental 
science was supplied. Particulars were afforded of the 
handsome response made by the friends of the college 
to its extension, but it was stated that these sums were 
insufficient to provide all that was needed. There 
was, happily, a prospect of the medical school being 
absorbed; and it was pointed out that the college was 
rapidly tending to a university character. The memo- 
rial, of which the above is a very slight sketch, was 
approved and forwarded to members of the govern- 
ment, and various interviews were held. 

On the 1 8th February, 1869, Messrs. Ashton, Neild, 
Roscoe, Jack, and Watts, accompanied by Mr. Bazley 
and Mr. Hibbert, had an interview with Earl de Grey 
(now Marquis of Ripon) and Mr. W. E. Forster. They 
had also an interview with Mr. H. A. Bruce (Lord 


Aberdare), the Home Secretary. They had promises, 
that their case should be laid before other important 
members of the government. Encouraged by these 
assurances of sympathy, the deputation consisting of 
Messrs. Bazley, Jacob Bright, and Edmund Potter, 
T. Ashton, M. Gladstone, H. Philips, J. Whitworth, 
T. D. Ryder, W. H. Houldsworth, and Dr. Watts, 
also Professors Roscoe and Jack waited upon the 
Prime Minister with high expectations. Mr. Bazley 
stated the case for the college. Mr. Gladstone, whose 
time was very limited, said that Parliament had always 
confined itself as much as possible to meeting the wants 
of the three capital cities. In educational matters its 
assistance had been given to the universities. The 
Manchester request was for a college, not for a univer- 
sity. He should not have been so generous to Glasgow, 
though it was a university, as the late government had 
been. He asked whether they had seen the Chancellor 
of the Exchequer and Lord de Grey ? In reply it was 
stated that these gentlemen and Mr. Forster had been 
seen, and the two latter were much more favourable 
than the former, but it was well known that Mr. Lowe 
possessed peculiar views on education. Mr. Gladstone 
explained that Mr. Lowe had to find the money. There 
were great difficulties in the way of meeting such an 
application, but he would take the views of his colleagues 
upon it. Mr. Ashton pointed out that Manchester was 
the capital of Lancashire and district, with a population 
equal to Scotland ; that government had shown a dispo- 
sition to help capitals with science schools, and Owens 
College would soon be a college of science for the whole 
of England. He referred to the case of Glasgow, and 
said that if the grant there had been to a university 
Manchester must be made one. Mr. Gladstone thought 


that enlarged the question, and made it one to be con- 
sidered with others. Part of the deputation remained 
in London and had further interviews with Lord de 
Grey, Mr. John Bright, and Mr. H. A. Bruce; and Mr. 
Bazley had an interview with Lord Granville, and had a 
promise of his lordship's good offices in the cabinet. 

The executive committee drew up a statement of 
grants in aid for learning in the year 1868-9. They 

were : 

For Buildings: 

To King's College, Aberdeen - - .4,730 

Marischall College, Aberdeen 675 

University of London - 25,000 

Glasgow University 20,000 

Queen's University, Ireland - 7,000 

Education, Science, and Art: 

Learned Societies of Great Britain - 11,800 

Queen's Colleges, Ireland - 4,265 

Belfast Theological Professors 2,050 

Universities and Colleges, Scotland - 17,949 

University of London - 9,063 

Queen's University, Ireland - 3,155 

School of Mines, London ^,253 

College of Chemistry - 750 

Royal Dublin Society - 2,185 

Royal College of Science, Dublin - 6,263 

Total - ^"127,138 

The committee drew up a minute for Mr. Gladstone 
and Earl de Grey relative to their objection of " setting 
up a new precedent" if they made a grant to Owens 
College. This document was sent to the government, 
and to members of Parliament and others, and was very 
favourably received by the latter ; the opinion being 
that the position of the committee was improving with 
the government, and that it would be wise not to press 
for an immediate grant. The minute, though it did not 


produce the effect desired, is so valuable as to deserve 
transcription. The committee held that in the case of 
colleges founded in the chief centres of population and 
of national development, the right to receive pecuniary 
aid from the public exchequer is undeniable. In their 
opinion such aid ought to be granted in every case 
where, after sufficient inquiry, certain conditions may 
be shown to coexist. These conditions might be stated 
as follows: i. Such a college must be an already estab- 
lished institution (i) enjoying a substantial and recog- 
nised success, and (2) materially endowed by local 
munificence; ii. Its government must be in the nature 
of a public trust, with due guarantees for the maintenance 
of the principle of the foundation and of the character 
of the administration; iii. Its constitution must be un- 
denominational; iv. Its location must be central with 
regard to a population which can furnish students, and 
with regard to peculiar aptitude for the development of 
some specific line of education. The committee were 
convinced that with regard to each of these conditions, 
the claims of the Owens College and its extension 
scheme, as enumerated in their memorial, were of suffi- 
cient weight to justify their application to Her Majesty's 
government for a pecuniary grant in augmentation of 
the local funds with which the college had been founded 
and maintained, and was about to be extended. At the 
same time they submitted that the institutions, in which 
such conditions could effectually coexist, could never, 
within the limits of the United Kingdom, be more than 
very few in number. This minute was circulated in 
April, and, as no reply came, it was resolved to ask 
some private member to refer to the subject when the 
education estimates were produced. Mr. Jacob Bright 
again came gallantly forward to fight the battle. 


On the vote for salaries and expenses of the Science 
and Art Department by Mr. Forster, Dr. Playfair stated 
that the recent French exhibition proved that England, 
although in advance of other nations, was not pro- 
gressing at the same rate, and therefore would probably 
be soon overtaken. A national conference had been 
held calling on the government to found institutions 
for technical instruction. The government seemed 
disposed to take a large view of the subject. The first 
thing expressed in a draft minute was that it would be 
much better to develop and supplement existing insti- 
tutions, such as Owens College and other colleges in 
Scotland and Ireland, than to create new institutions to 
be wholly supported by the state. The Chancellor of 
the Exchequer might say that if Manchester wanted 
technical instruction it ought to supply the funds for it, 
and that would be just if the state had no interest in 
its promotion and in removing the obstacles to its 
advancement ; but few would contend that the state 
could neglect such duties without great peril to the 
progress of commerce and manufactures. 

Mr. Jacob Bright challenged the impartiality of the 
estimates. England received for science and higher 
education, ,36,000; Scotland, ,46,000; and Ireland, 
^48,000; but the great manufacturing districts of the 
north, of which Manchester might be regarded as the 
centre, did not receive one shilling of public money in 
support of any institution whatever. Mr. Bright then 
described Owens College and its prospects of enlarge- 
ment, and said it was only fair and reasonable that the 
government should do something, because the late 
government had given ^120,000 to Glasgow. Glasgow 
was not a capital, though it had a university: Man- 
chester intended to have a university, and would get it 


all the sooner if government did justice to it. The 
people of Manchester made no complaint of the assis- 
tance given to the Scotch universities, but they felt 
that the extension of the system to their own district 
would be highly beneficial, for at present the Scotch, 
with their admirably managed parochial education, 
supplemented by instruction at the universities, carried 
nearly everything before them. The Chancellor of the 
Exchequer had behaved somewhat harshly towards the 
people of Lancashire in this matter, and implied that 
there was a want of self-respect on their part in coming 
to London to ask for pecuniary aid to local effort. 
This was not so. One-thirteenth of the whole grant 
was paid by Lancashire, and Mr. Bright wished to 
know what loss of self-respect on their part was in- 
volved in asking for a portion of the general fund to 
which they so handsomely contributed. A minute in 
favour of a grant had been drafted by the late govern- 
ment though not presented. Thus the matter ended. 

There may be a difference of opinion as to the 
wisdom and desirability of applying to Parliament for a 
grant in aid. It is no doubt a noble thing to have 
erected and maintained the college hitherto by the free- 
will offerings of the people of Lancashire ; and so long 
as there is that generous support and hearty sympathy, 
there will be the proud satisfaction that the work has 
been done without submitting the college to the inter- 
ference, or subjecting it to the bondage of permanent 
officials in London. It has not been all gain to Edin- 
burgh, it may be said, to receive state aid, as witness 
the loss of the museum to the university and the sup- 
pression of its professor. 1 But as a matter of principle 

1 Cf. The Story of the University of Edinburgh, i., pp. 354-361, by Sir A. 
Grant, Bart. 


it is surely true, there can be no room for controversy 
about it, that if grants are to be made to universities, 
Manchester has now established its right to assistance. 
Lancashire is poor ; the college has yet much to do to 
become complete as a teaching institution ; it may be 
impossible to raise sufficient money for future extensions 
and for necessary endowments ; expenses steadily 
increase ; how are they to be met ? It is most fervently 
hoped that the richer men in and around Manchester 
will, by donations or bequests, meet all these wants ; but 
if this should not be so, the college has surely a claim 
on the national purse. Owens College owes nothing to 
either political party for a grant in aid. It cannot, 
however, be forgotten that the same political party which 
refused any grant to Manchester has recently endowed 
the Welsh colleges which, compared with Owens, are 
but like village grammar schools with large sums. 
These have been supplemented by the government of 
Lord Salisbury (January 1886), and they now amount 
to ,12,000 a year; more than sufficient for the scholar- 
ships competed for by Welsh students. 



TV /T UCH time and thought had been given by the 
** executive to the question of government aid, 
but it became evident that there was a danger of losing 
the substance in grasping at the shadow. Canvassing 
for subscriptions was renewed. Application was made 
to the neighbouring towns for assistance with varying 
success, and public meetings were suggested. At the 
meeting of the executive held June 24th, 1868, it was 
reported that the chairman of the Bury commissioners 
thought political feeling too strong to allow a successful 
meeting there at present; a similar opinion with regard 
to Preston had been expressed by Mr. W. H. Goodair. 
Arrangements had been made with Mr. James Barlow 
(the mayor) to hold a meeting at Bolton on ist July, 
and it was resolved to ask the whole of the executive 
committee to attend as a deputation. Bolton raised the 
sum of .2,320. 

A meeting was held at the Town Hall, Oldham, on 
the 1 6th July, Mr. John Platt, M.P., in the chair. The 
gentlemen present resolved themselves into a com- 
mittee to canvass Oldham and the neighbourhood. 
They raised ,2,055 to tne fund. 

The Mayor of Wigan promised to consult a few 
friends respecting the call of a meeting in that town. 
Nothing came of it. 

Messrs. Ashton, Christie, Houldsworth, and Dr. 
Watts visited Rochdale on July 22nd to attend a 


meeting summoned by the mayor. His worship issued 
ninety invitations to the meeting, but only one person 
attended. Notwithstanding this cold return, his worship 
kindly promised all the help in his power towards the 
formation of a canvassing committee. Nothing came 
from Rochdale from this effort, but the Messrs. Bright 
and others contributed to the general fund. 

The committee were cheered by a voluntary offer on 
the part of the evening students to render assistance. 
They thought that a general subscription among the 
present and former evening students would have a 
beneficial effect upon the canvass. This spirited effort 
resulted in the most welcome addition of ^355 to the 
fund. The day students also displayed a generous 
loyalty to the college, and contributed the handsome 
amount of ^614. 8s. 3d. to the building fund. 

The committee thought the time had arrived when 
they should make known their progress to the sub- 
scribers who appointed them. A meeting was held at 
the Town Hall, Manchester, October 29th, 1868, under 
the presidency of the Mayor (Alderman Neill). The 
first report of the committee was presented. It re- 
capitulated what had been done, (i.) as to the extension 
fund; (ii.) as to site; (iii.) as to the plans of buildings 
and scheme of education; (iv.) that they had added to 
their number Messrs. Joseph Whitworth, D.C.L., 
F.R.S., J. P. Joule, LL.D., F.R.S., Joseph Thompson, 
and Herbert Philips. This was followed by a list of 
subscribers, from which the following total is given: 

I. General Fund - -^47>3S4 

II. Engineering Fund - 9>55 

III. Natural History Fund say - - 13,000 o o 

IV. Value of Present Site say 7,000 o o 

^76,859 o o 


The Mayor moved : " That the report of the execu- 
tive committee be received and adopted, and their 
recommendation of the Oxford Road site be accepted 
and approved, and they be authorised to call up sub- 
scriptions when and as they may deem desirable." 
Having spoken of the subscriptions already promised, 
he said the University of Glasgow had got ,120,000 
from the present (Mr. Disraeli's) government. He did 
not see any reason why Manchester should be worse 
used than Glasgow. As regarded the site, it appeared 
to him that the committee had taken great pains to 
ascertain where a good site could be obtained. There 
were great advantages in the site selected. It would 
be difficult to get a better one. Mr. Joseph Whit worth 
seconded the resolution, and after expressing hearty 
approval of the site said, what was most wanted was 
better technical education for their foremen and 
managers. This the promoters of Owens College 
hoped to supply. Mr. Murray Gladstone supported 
the resolution, as did Dr. Southam on behalf of the 
lecturers of the Manchester School of Medicine. 
They, as a body, had long been convinced of the 
propriety of having their institution placed in con- 
nection with an institution for general education, like 
Owens College, He was glad to find there was a pros- 
pect of this being accomplished. Mr. Hugh Birley had 
great gratification in supporting the resolution. Speak- 
ing in respect to his connection with the Royal Infirmary, 
he approved of the site and the scheme. Excellent as 
was the present school of medicine, he rejoiced to 
think that future medical students would have greater 
advantages than the present physicians and surgeons 
had had. Dr. William Smith, as a teacher of twenty- 
seven years' standing in the school of medicine, also 


spoke of the advantages to be derived from the pro- 
posed amalgamation. Dr. William Roberts spoke to 
similar effect. Mr. Joseph Thompson, after advocating 
an affiliation with colleges of a purely theological 
character for the arts and science courses, heartily 
supported the enlargement scheme, and hoped they 
should commence with so bold and wide a scheme that 
twenty years hence they should feel they had not begun 
with a niggard hand. Mr. Broadfield and Mr. Bazley, 
M.P., spoke. Mr. Fairbairn hoped the committee 
would act boldly, and advocated the purchase of four- 
teen or fifteen acres at the Polygon, Ardwick, instead 
of the four acres in Oxford Street. The approval of the 
site selected was spoken to by Principal Greenwood, 
Alderman Mackie, Professor Christie, Mr. Neild, Pro- 
fessor Williamson, Mr. W. R. Wood, and Mr. Darbi- 
shire. A cordial vote of thanks was passed to Mr. 
Ashton as chairman of the executive. Thanks were 
also voted to the members of Parliament and other 
gentlemen who served on the deputations to the 
government. The subscribers to the various funds, 
and the gentlemen who gave their services on the 
deputations to the government, were added to the 
general committee. 

At the meeting of the executive held November 4th, 
it was resolved that the principal be requested to con- 
sult with the various professors of Owens College as 
to the rooms and space desirable for each of them in 
the new building, assuming the basis of one thousand 
students, and to report thereon; as well as in regard to 
the necessary space for any additional professors likely 
to be included in the extension scheme. A detailed report 
was furnished, from which it appeared that seventy-six 
thousand square feet of flooring would be requisite. 


Although this report was not strictly adhered to, it 
proved very valuable to the committee as a guide when 
their instructions were given to the architect. The 
building committee was reconstituted, and met for the 
first time on December i6th, 1868. It consisted of 
the chairman (Mr. Ash ton), the honorary secretaries 
(the principal and Mr. Houldsworth), Messrs. C. F. 
Beyer, M. Gladstone, J. L. Kennedy, R. Johnson, A. 
Neild, J. Robinson, H. E. Roscoe, S. J. Stern, Joseph 
Thompson, and Joseph Whitworth. It confirmed the 
minutes of the previous sub -committee, held March 
25th, 1867. The interval between the two meetings 
was long, but the committee had nothing to do till a 
site was secured and funds were raised. There was now 
plenty of work before it. At this meeting the proper 
method of procedure was fully discussed, and it was 
resolved unanimously to record the following notice of 
motion by the chairman: " That considering the pecu- 
liarity of the buildings required, the impossibility of 
putting up the whole at once, and the necessity of very 
frequent communication between the architect, the pro- 
fessors, and others, in the preparation of plans, this 
committee recommend to the executive the immediate 
appointment of some gentleman as architect." The 
chairman then gave notice of motion for the next 
meeting: "That this committee do now proceed to 
consider the selection of an architect to be recom- 
mended to the executive." 

At a meeting of the same committee, held December 
23rd, the above resolution was passed, whereupon Mr. 
Stern moved and Mr. Neild seconded the following 
resolution: " That, subject to satisfactory arrangements 
being secured, Mr. Alfred Waterhouse be recommended 
to the executive committee as architect." After a 


general discussion, in which most of the committee took 
part, the resolution was adopted unanimously. The 
executive committee approved of the recommendation, 
and Mr. Ashton at once wrote to Mr. Waterhouse, in- 
viting him to accept the commission, but pointing out 
that owing to the nature of the buildings a very great 
amount of attention would be required from any gentle- 
man undertaking the duty. Mr. Waterhouse replied 
that he was well aware that the contemplated works 
would require much thought and attention, but that if 
the committee placed the designing of the new buildings 
in his hands he should give the important commission 
his best and earnest attention. The results show how 
thoroughly this promise was redeemed in these and 
subsequently erected buildings. 

At a meeting of the executive held January i5th, 
1869, the principal made the pleasing announcement 
that Mr. John Robinson and he had received from Mr. 
James Ashbury, of Gorton, for the engineering fund, 
Mexican railway bonds of the nominal value of ,5,000, 
bearing interest at eight per cent, which interest was 
guaranteed by Mr. Ashbury for three years. The con- 
ditions were that the bonds were not to be sold under 
par without Mr. Ashbury 's leave, and that when sold 
at par ;i,ooo would have to be paid over to the trus- 
tees of the Wesleyan Chapel at Openshaw. In the 
meantime 50 a year was to be spent on the engineering 
department and the remainder of the interest was to 
accumulate. The college received from principal and 
accumulated interest the sum of ^5,196. This most 
liberal gift was made by Mr. Ashbury in memory of his 
father, the founder of the great carriage works at 

The building committee gave much attention to the 


subject entrusted to them. During the first three 
months in the year plans and suggestions as to the 
height, size, and position of the buildings were received 
from the architect, the professors, and from members 
of the committee itself. They differed very greatly in 
their recommendations. Some wished for a building 
of one storey ; others for two or three storeys : some 
advocated internal corridors ; to others they were an 
abomination, and nothing but external staircases and 
galleries would suffice. Some wished for through, 
others for cross, lights : some wished the buildings to 
be placed far back from Oxford Road ; others advo- 
cated a grand front right on to the thoroughfare, future 
extensions being made by side and back wings. These 
differences of opinion led to much discussion and some 
confusion, and it was finally resolved to invite the 
trustees and the professors of the college to consult 
with the building committee. Lack of funds crippled 
the professors in their suggested plans. 

A conference was held on 24th March, 1868, at 
which there were present : Thomas Ashton, Esq., in 
the chair, W. H. Houldsworth, Joseph Thompson, S. 
J. Stern, Alfred Neild, R. D. Darbishire, C. F. Beyer, 
Murray Gladstone, and Professor Roscoe, of the building 
committee; together with Canon Gibson, trustee; and 
Professors Reynolds, Jack, Williamson, Jevons, and 
Mr. J. H. Nicholson, registrar. Mr. Ashton explained 
to Canon Gibson and the professors the reasons of the 
committee for requesting their attendance, and said that 
while the decision upon the various plans and the respon- 
sibility for such decision must rest with the executive, 
they would feel it a favour to have a few expressions of 
opinion from the gentlemen present. He then referred 
in general terms to each of the plans, and requested first 


an expression of opinion as to the desirable shape of 
class rooms. Hereupon various opinions were given, 
and the majority seemed to be in favour of square 
rooms up to the extent of thirty feet, and beyond that 
extent to oblong rooms with the professor at the end, 
but so as to have the space occupied by students as 
nearly square as possible. The one-storey plan with 
top lights was then discussed, and whilst various eco- 
nomic advantages as to space and cost were pointed 
out by Professor Reynolds, it was objected that it would 
require a steam engine for ventilation ; that skylights 
could not be made watertight ; that if the windows were 
doubled it would be difficult to keep them clean; and 
that well or dome lights would be bad for speaking 
under. In favour of Professor Reynolds's plan of a 
series of narrow buildings of two or three storeys, with 
outside staircases, the small cost of staircases and the 
lights from both sides were urged; but the general 
opinion seemed to be that for moderate -sized class 
rooms there was no advantage in double lights, whilst 
a double-span roof would be equally cheap with that of 
a narrow building. On the question of the general 
ground plan, Canon Gibson expressed an opinion that 
the first building erected should front to Oxford Road. 
Principal Greenwood was in favour of Mr. Moulds- 
worth's plan for setting back two hundred feet from 
Oxford Road, and leaving the front building to be 
erected hereafter. The medical school, if ever built, to 
form a second quadrangle on the west side of the land. 
Mr. Beyer supported Canon Gibson's view; deprecated 
hurry; asked for information and the adjournment of 
the subject for two months. The Chairman pointed 
out that the information asked for was already in the 
hands of the committee and had been given to the 


architect; it would be a waste of time to adjourn for 
two months. Information was furnished to Mr. Beyer, 
who promised to have his plans ready within a fort- 
night. As regarded the museum, Professor Williamson 
said all top light was preferable, and, in his opinion, it 
should be built on the south side of the land and be 
raised from the ground by having offices built under it. 

The various plans and suggestions were placed in 
the hands of the architect for his examination and 
report, and it was intimated that probably it was most 
important before drawing out plans, first to settle upon 
(a) the distance from the road of the building ; (b) the 
question of outside staircases or internal corridors ; 
(c) the construction of the basement storey. The 
architect and the chairman had frequent conferences 
upon the subject, and on the i4th May, 1869, the 
building committee discussed the plans for a consider- 
able time. Mr. Waterhouse explained the relative 
advantages and disadvantages of each, and it was 
ultimately agreed to hold another meeting with the pro- 
fessors before giving final instructions to the architect. 

This meeting was held on the I7th May, when 
Professors Williamson, Reynolds, Barker, Christie, 
Ward, and Jack attended. The Chairman explained 
that the meeting had been called chiefly at the desire of 
Mr. Houldsworth, to reconsider the proposed size of 
the class rooms and the question of outside stairs versus 
corridors. In the schedule submitted by Mr. Water- 
house provision was made for two rooms of one 
thousand five hundred square feet each, five of one 
thousand feet each, and six of five hundred feet each. 
Mr. Houldsworth asked if it would not be well to con- 
vert the six of five hundred feet each into three of one 
thousand feet each ? 


The general opinion was against any such alteration, 
inasmuch as there was no necessity to limit an arts 
professor to any one room, but he could use a large or 
a small room according to the requirements of his class. 
Professor Williamson asked that in case the permanent 
museum was not at once proceeded with, that a small 
museum should be provided adjoining his class room, 
and the secretary was instructed to ask the architect to 
provide, if the plan would allow it, an additional room 
of six hundred or seven hundred feet for a temporary 
museum. Several gentlemen remarked on the noise of 
the corridor at University College, London ; whilst 
others pointed out the inconvenience of exposure to the 
weather in passing from room to room which would 
attach to outside staircases, and ultimately the following 
general instructions to the architect were adopted, viz. : 
''That the following instructions be sent to Mr. Water- 
house, and that he be requested now to prepare plans 
in accordance therewith, or as near thereto as is possible 
or in his own judgment advisable ; and to submit the 
same to this committee. 


"Preface: It is to be understood that the following 
instructions are not intended to be absolute. They are 
sent to Mr. Waterhouse as a guide, to indicate to him 
the present wishes and views of the committee, which it 
is hoped that he will be able to carry out in the main ; 
though at the same time the committee are anxious for 
him to use his own judgment in the matters referred to, 
and would wish him on any point which seems specially 
important, and upon which he may differ from them, to 
consult the committee again before proceeding with 
the plans. 


"i. The buildings for which plans are now requested 
are those, the particulars of which are given in the 
accompanying schedule [these are not given in this 
narrative, as they were materially altered in the build- 
ing] ; and the cost of such buildings, complete with all 
the necessary fittings, is not to exceed ,40,000. 

"2. These buildings are to be placed on the west side 
of the site, at a distance from Oxford Road of about 
two hundred feet (the chemical laboratories being placed 
in the south-west corner), and they are to be suitably 
erected, so as to form ultimately the western side of a 
quadrangle, the south side of which (along Burlington 
Street) will probably be the museum ; the eastern side, 
along Oxford Street, and about thirty feet from it, the 
building to contain large public hall, examination halls, 
library, etc.; and the northern side, on which will 
probably be another building (like the one first erected), 
containing additional class rooms, lecture rooms, etc. 

"3. The committee do not wish to bind Mr. Water- 
house upon a point which is almost a purely architectural 
matter, but they would request his special attention to 
the disadvantages attendant upon long corridors, in re- 
spect of want of light, and to the noise of feet and voices. 

"4. With regard to the form and the lighting of the 
class rooms, the committee would remark, that in their 
opinion the best shape for class rooms is as nearly 
square as possible, and that lights placed at right angles 
to each other are to be avoided." 

A new set of ground plans from Mr. Waterhouse 
was laid before the building committee on June i6th, 
the provisions of which were discussed at great length, 
and with slight exceptions were generally approved, 
and were handed to Principal Greenwood for further 
criticism by the professors. 


The plans were again discussed by the committee on 
the 2Qth June. Mr. Beyer reiterated his opinion that 
any building to be now erected should be to the front 
of Oxford Road, and suggested that all buildings 
should be in lines parallel to each other, and that the 
floors should be upon one level for convenience of 
access. Mr. Whitworth suggested that there should 
be pencil sketches of the ground, and rough block 
plans of the whole building prepared. Mr. Moulds- 
worth and the professors suggested various minor 
alterations in the size, the arrangement, and the appro- 
priation of the rooms, and also that there should be a 
wide sunk area in front of the main building, so as to 
secure light enough to allow the conversion of the 
basement storey into class rooms if needful. Mr. 
Waterhouse took notes of the various suggestions, and 
promised to give them full consideration, and to repro- 
duce the plans embodying such of them as could be 
conveniently worked in. 

A set of new ground plans from Mr. Waterhouse 
was laid before the building committee July i4th, with 
a letter in which he said he had found it next to impos- 
sible, if not altogether so, to carry out all the sugges- 
tions made to him at recent interviews. Mr. Jevons's 
suggestion about the continuity of corridors was entirely 
opposed to what he, Mr. Waterhouse, considered to be 
one of his definite instructions. Mr. Houldsworth's 
wish to have the principal class rooms lighted from 
opposite sides would involve a greater extension of the 
buildings than there was room for. 

On the 2Qth of July following, the plans were further 
discussed and modifications were suggested. Mr. 
Waterhouse was requested to prepare sketch eleva- 
tions with ground plans on a larger scale, to lay before 


the subscribers. On the 24th November, block plans 
and elevation of the proposed new building, comprising 
nine sheets, and schedule of space included in the 
buildings, were laid before the building committee ; 
fifty photographic copies were ordered to be ready for 
inspection at the meeting of subscribers on December 

The general meeting of subscribers (of which more 
detail anon) was held at the Town Hall on December 
3rd, when, on the motion of Mr. Houldsworth, and the 
seconding of Alderman Mackie, it was resolved "that 
Mr. Waterhouse be appointed architect, that the build- 
ing plans now presented be adopted, and the committee 
be authorised to proceed with the erection of the new 
college buildings." Ten days later the building com- 
mittee were instructed to take the necessary steps for 
procuring contracts for the new buildings, and to 
arrange either for the immediate removal of the front 
property or to relet it, as might seem to them most 
advantageous. A portion of this ground was cleared, 
but some of the houses were retained for the use of the 

Before passing away from the acts of the sub-com- 
mittee to those of the executive, it may be mentioned 
that on the i6th February, 1870, it was resolved that 
Mr. Waterhouse be requested to alter his plans by 
bringing forward the porches, raising the whole of the 
building one foot out of the ground, and putting two 
large dormers over the board room, if, in his opinion, it 
was desirable to do so. 

The executive had been active, and had had nume- 
rous matters of importance before it during the year 
1869. The deputation to Mr. Gladstone has been 
already alluded to. 


On the 2ist April their attention was drawn to the 
condition of the Hulme Trust, and it was thought that 
the trustees might be disposed to assist the college. 
It was resolved: "That the Chairman, with Messrs. 
Stern, Robinson, Christie, and the Honorary Secretaries 
be a committee to consider what steps can be taken to 
open a negotiation with the Hulme trustees on behalf 
of the committee." An engrossed memorial, signed by 
the Chairman and Principal Greenwood, was after- 
wards sent to the trustees of the charity. Their reply 
was sent on October 8th, through their secretary, 
Mr. Thomas Darwell. He was directed to inform the 
committee that the Hulme trustees, acting under the 
founder's will and the Acts of Parliament subsequently 
passed with respect thereto, had no power to contribute 
any part of their funds or revenues towards the general 
funds for the buflding or extension of Owens College, 
or towards any annual grant in aid of the endowment 
fund or professors or lectureships, so long as religious 
or theological subjects were excluded from the course 
of instruction in the college ; but that should any 
alteration be made in that respect the trustees would be 
happy to give their best consideration to any applica- 
tion for founding a divinity lectureship or exhibition. 
It is not necessary to dwell at. any length upon this 
reply. The charity, which was founded to support 
'' four poor Bachellors of Arts at Brazennose College, 
Oxford," had become rich, and the former trustees had, 
with the sanction of Parliament, invested the surplus 
funds in the purchase of advowsons, and the building 
of churches and parsonages. The bulk of the property, 
so enormously increased in value, is situate in Man- 
chester, and it was but natural for the executive to 
think that an institution whose object it was to assist 


" poor bachellors of arts or science " should have a good 
claim for assistance. 

On the advent of the Liberal government to office in 
1880, Lord Spencer and Mr. Mundella showed them- 
selves anxious to promote a scheme for the resettlement 
of the Hulme Trust. A governing body was formed 
much more in accordance with the spirit of the times : 
it is largely representative of local public bodies. The 
governors have authority to found new schools in 
Manchester, Oldham, and Bury, and the school in Man- 
chester has already been erected. Owens College now 
receives ,1,000 a year from the trust, which furnishes 
three free entrance exhibitions in classics and English. 

At the meeting of the executive, held April 2ist, 
Mr. Whitworth (now Sir Joseph) made some important 
proposals as to the propriety of: i. Commencing in the 
northern counties, in connection with the council of the 
Society of Arts, an agitation for improved primary and 
secondary education, and especially for the establish- 
ment of colleges for technical instruction. This was to 
be done by the friends of Owens College asking the 
council of the Society of Arts to appoint an influential 
committee, consisting largely of members of the society 
resident in the northern counties. 2. Such committee 
to meet generally in London and occasionally at Owens 
College, and other places in the northern counties. 3. 
To appoint two joint secretaries, one named by the 
Society of Arts and one by Owens College. 4. To 
appoint one or more popular lecturers to visit towns 
having educational endowments, and address the work- 
ing classes, especially in the northern counties. 5. The 
sum of ^300 to be guaranteed to the Society of Arts 
towards the expenses to be incurred by the society. 6. 
The Society of Arts to afford the aid of its journal, esta- 


blishment, and office accommodation for transacting the 
business of the committee. The executive committee 
gave very full consideration to these suggestions, but con- 
cluded that they did not come within their scope. The 
secretary to the Society of Arts wrote on May 5th, 
stating that the council would be happy to cooperate 
with the committee of the Owens College extension in 
promoting education, and especially technical instruc- 
tion, in connection with colleges for the promotion of it, 
and suggested that a sub-committee with Dr. Watts be 
authorised to come to London and meet the council 
with the view of organising some course of action. 
Upon this it was resolved : " That this committee, 
having been appointed for the sole purpose of raising 
funds for Owens College, such action as that suggested 
in the letter of the secretary of the Society of Arts is 
not within its province, and that any steps taken in this 
locality must be an independent movement." 

The college had made a fresh start after a period of 
comparative stagnation. The numbers were as follows : 

Year. Day. Evening. Total. 

1862-3 Io8 287 ... 395 

1863-4 ... no ... 312 ... 422 

1864-5 I2 7 312 ... 439 

1866-7 IX 3 28 393 

1867-8 ... 173 ... 324 ... 497 

1868-9 ... 210 ... 473 ... 683 

It has already been pointed out 1 that the class rooms 
were greatly overcrowded and very unhealthy when the 
total number of students was four hundred and thirty- 
nine; it is difficult to imagine how professors could 
lecture and students could listen when the condition 
was so much worse. The executive were doing their 

1 p. 246. 



utmost to remedy this state of things by providing new 
buildings, but another serious difficulty met the trustees. 
Their prosperity threatened to become their ruin. On 
the 1 4th of May they sent a resolution to the executive 
stating that, having carefully considered the financial 
circumstances of the college with reference to the 
increase in the number of students and the amount of 
class work which had to be done since the commence- 
ment of the current session greater than ever before in 
the history of the college they found the resources of 
the college were so deeply engaged that it was quite 
impossible for them to meet the demands, which they 
felt could not be put aside without serious risk to the 
continued success and growing reputation of the insti- 
tution. They feared there was no course left open to 
them except to raise the fees or diminish the number of 
students except : . That, considering that the original 
movement for enlargement of the resources of the 
college contemplated an increase of endowment as well 
as accommodation, the trustees were of opinion that 
the immediate needs of the college were sufficiently 
urgent to justify them in making an application to the 
extension committee, and requesting them to consider 
the propriety of placing at the disposal of the trustees 
a sum of ,400 a year for four years. The immediate 
cause of the application was a call from the chemical 
department for increased assistance, but there was also 
a necessity for the appointment of a separate professor 
of Latin. For some time past the extra expenses 
of the college had been met by drawing upon the 
auxiliary fund. The chairman of the executive thought 
it unadvisable to trench on the special funds they had 
raised, and suggested that the trustees be respectfully 
requested to reconsider the question of raising the fees 


for the chemical laboratory, and whether it was not 
possible to permanently increase the income by rein- 
vestment of the capital. This would not have gone 
very far : it was not desirable to increase the fees, espe- 
cially as the college would get no direct benefit thereby. 
The chairman proposed that a special fund of ; 10,000 
should be raised, and generously offered to contribute 
,1,000 towards it; if this should fail, he suggested that 
it would be well to raise ,2,000 to be expended during 
the following four or five years. 

At a meeting of the executive held July 7th, 1869, 
it was reported that Mr. W. B. Hume had spoken of a 
contribution which might possibly be made to the com- 
mittee from a fund of which he and Sir John Bowring 
were trustees ; and he had inquired if the college would 
prefer a lump sum or an annual payment ? Mr. 
Thompson was requested to say that the committee 
would be glad to receive a contribution in either form, 
but that they would prefer a lump sum. The result 
was a promise of ^50 per annum for three years. 1 This 
contribution has been continued regularly since that date, 
and as it forms one of the largest scholarships received 
by the college, it may be well to refer to its origin. 
The benefaction from which this payment is made was 
founded by Dr. John B. Gilchrist, who was born at 
Edinburgh in 1759. He studied for the medical pro- 
fession, and took service under the East India Company. 
Being painfully aware of the disadvantage he laboured 
under through his ignorance of the vernacular, he 
studied Hindostanee and compiled a grammar and 
dictionary of that language. He was appointed pro- 
professor of Hindostanee at Calcutta. He returned to 

1 Gilchrist Scholarships. 


London in 1804, and while there and at Edinburgh 
pursued his Indian studies for many years. He died 
in 1841. He left his property to trustees, who were 
to apply the fund in such a manner as they, in their 
absolute and uncontrolled discretion, might think proper 
and expedient for the benefit, advancement, and pro- 
pagation of education and learning in every part of the 
world as circumstances would permit. Dr. Gilchrist 
invested part of his property in New South Wales and 
in the Commercial Bank of Scotland. Both ventures 
turned out exceedingly well ; it is said that the former 
property was purchased for 17. IDS. in 1801, and was 
realised by the trustees for over ^70,000, and the 
Scotch property yielded nearly ^40,000. The whole 
of this money has been invested for educational pur- 
poses. 1 It is gratifying to state that the Owens College 
students have taken a Gilchrist scholarship every year 
since 1870, the date of their being offered to the College 
by the trustees of the Gilchrist foundation. 

The attention of the executive was suddenly called to 
the reconsideration of a subject which they thought had 
been finally and satisfactorily disposed of. On the 2 1 st 
April, Mr. Ashton handed in an anonymous letter he 
had received suggesting the site by Ardwick House, in 
Stockport Road, and the grounds adjoining the Polygon, 
at Ardwick, as suitable for the new college. This plot 
had been fully considered before the Oxford Road site 
had been purchased. 

At the meeting held on July 7th, the whole subject 
was again discussed. The chairman recapitulated what 
had been already done, and said that whilst it was of 
course possible that a mistake had been made, and it 

1 See Manchester Guardian, January I9th, 1886. 


was quite fair to reconsider the position, yet so far as 
he was aware there were no new facts to bring forward ; 
but that in the discussion the present site might be left 
out of the question, because if not used for the new 
college it would still be good as an investment. The dis- 
cussion arose on a suggestion made in a letter to the news- 
papers by Mr. T. R. Wilkinson, in which he advocated 
the selection of a large plot of land, then uncovered but 
shortly to be built upon, bounded by Nelson Street and 
Clarence (now Upper Brook) Street. The great ad- 
vantage of the site was, that a much larger area than 
that selected could be obtained for the same money ; it 
was also asserted that although farther from town it 
was nearer to Ardwick Station. The disadvantage was 
that it was a third of a mile farther from the centre of 
the town, and that it was away from one of the great 
thoroughfares a very serious factor when the time of 
several hundred students, and numerous professional 
men, is considered. The advantage of comparative 
proximity to Ardwick Station is more apparent than 
real ; as none of the London and North- Western Rail- 
way trains take up and none of their first-class trains 
set down passengers at that station. In the discussion 
on the subject Mr. Kennedy admitted the correctness 
of the chairman's statements, but said the canvass for 
subscriptions was exhausted, and there was a deficiency 
of ; 1 0,000 upon the cost of the land and the estimate 
for the portion of the building to be first erected, and 
that the condition and prospect of trade had materially 
altered the case. He urged that the proposed site 
(Nelson Street) was only seven hundred yards further 
out than the present site, that it was nearer to Ardwick 
Station, and that population was moving in the direction 
of Nelson Street : that in the Nelson Street site there 


would be six acres of land at a cost of ; 12,000 (in- 
cluding streets), whilst the present site gave four acres 
for ^30,000, and that it being level there would be no 
engineering difficulties. After further discussion the 
consideration of the subject was adjourned for one week. 
At the adjourned meeting there were present : 
Thomas Ashton, Esq., in the chair, W. H. Moulds- 
worth, J. L. Kennedy, J. E. Taylor, Oliver Hey wood, 
R. D. Darbishire, C. F. Beyer, Alfred Neild, Herbert 
Philips, Joseph Thompson, Murray Gladstone, Benja- 
min Armitage, and Professors Christie and Roscoe. 
A return was submitted showing the residences of the 
day students in 1868-9. In the return the country 
students coming to town by railway or omnibus routes 
were reckoned as belonging to the town districts 
through which they arrived. 

A District Cheetham Hill and Broughton - - 74 

B do. Harpurhey, Collyhurst, Failsworth - 4 
C do. Hulme, Old Trafford, &c., Oxford Road 

Station 58 

D do. Ardwick, Longsight, Gorton - 30 

E do. Salford, Pendleton, &c. 8 

F do. Greenheys, Rusholme, Fallowfield - 36 


Mr. Philips concluded that it was very important to 
have a good public site : many persons did not know of 
the existence of Owens College (then in Quay Street) 
because of its obscure situation ; he feared the same 
result if they removed to Nelson Street. Mr. Neild 
had looked at both sites, and he not only preferred that 
in Oxford Road, but thought a removal would be a 
confession of failure. Mr. Christie favoured Nelson 
Street and the saving of half the money; he did not 
fear any loss of students. Mr. Houlds worth admitted 


that as regarded publicity the proposed removal would 
be a loss ; but there would be a gain of light and air, 
and financially it would be a great advantage. He 
feared the retention of the approved site would involve 
a loss of ,45,000. He moved: "That the subject of 
the change of site be referred as an open question to a 
meeting of subscribers to be called for the purpose." 
Mr. Darbishire moved the previous question, on the 
ground that when the trustees of the college com- 
menced the movement for the enlargement of the 
college the public took the question out of their hands, 
with a promise of much greater extension than was 
contemplated by the trustees ; that the scheme had 
always contemplated an outlay of .30,000 for land and 
.40,000 for buildings ; that the scheme had been 
elaborated by the executive, reported to and approved 
by the subscribers; that other bodies had been nego- 
tiated with on this foundation, and he thought that to 
go to the subscribers with a vacillating policy would be 
to confess failure and to court ruin. Mr. Hey wood 
stated that more than a shade of disappointment had 
crossed his mind about the result of the canvass for 
subscriptions, that he felt less repugnance to a change 
after a second inspection of the site, still he thought a 
change would have a depressing effect, and upon the 
whole he could not see that a sufficient cause had been 
shown for a change. Mr. Armitage said he should 
have no hesitation in consulting the subscribers for a 
larger, but certainly not for a smaller, scheme ; he 
thought that some of the subscribers had given upon 
the understanding that the Oxford Road site would be 
selected. Mr. Thompson had considered the subject 
and consulted outsiders, and had heard only one opinion, 
namely, that it would be prejudicial to the interests of 


the college to change the site. The Chairman explained 
that he had never expected to succeed with the sub- 
scription in less than four or five years, yet one half 
the sum needed had been raised in two years of such 
bad times as Lancashire had never seen before. Mr. 
Houldsworth's amendment was then put and lost. Mr. 
Kennedy's motion was next put and lost. It was then 
resolved, on the motion of Mr. Darbishire: "That the 
committee, in submitting their plans and estimates for 
the proposed college buildings, accompany their report 
on the plans with a special report upon the state and 
prospect of the subscription list, and the pressing 
requirements of an enlarged endowment." 

At a later date the Chairman, with Messrs. Darbi- 
shire and Thompson, were requested to draw up a 
report on the position of the funds, to be presented with 
the building plans at the next meeting of subscribers. 

This meeting was held at the Town Hall, Decem- 
ber 3rd, 1869, under the presidency of Alderman 
Nicholls (deputy mayor). The report was received and 
adopted. It recapitulated the work done by the exten- 
sion committee during the year the subscriptions 
raised, the purchase of a site, the application to govern- 
ment for help, the appointment of an architect, and the 
description of the plans. " The principal part of the 
proposed buildings," said the report, " consists of a long 
pile occupying a strip across the middle of the plot, and 
containing the working rooms of the college. The 
scheme and arrangement of these apartments has been 
the subject of the most careful elaboration ; in fact the 
plans now exhibited are the fifth series which the com- 
mittee have considered." The report then referred to 
the constitution of the extended college, to halls of 
residence, to the prospects of the fund, and it gave a 


list of subscriptions. Mr. C. S. Roundell addressed the 
meeting on the general subject of education in relation 
to the universities. Mr. Kennedy advocated the pur- 
chase of the Nelson Street site, and moved an amend- 
ment to that effect. It was seconded by Mr. Beyer, 
but was rejected by a large majority. Mr. J. Platt, 
M.P., disapproved of both plots; the site ought to be 
near the homes of the artisans ; he advocated Cheetham 
Hill as being more accessible to Oldham, Rochdale, 
Bury, Bolton, Ashton, and other large centres of in- 
dustry. Mr. Thomas Wrigley approved of the site 
selected, and said he was glad the government had 
refused them a grant. There was plenty of money to 
be had in Manchester, let them look for that and be 
independent of government help and interference. 

The second resolution was: "That the new constitu- 
tion, as settled by the extension committee, be adopted, 
and the committee be authorised to prosecute their 
application for a bill to Parliament." This resolution 
was spoken to by Professor Christie, Messrs. James 
Heywood, F.R.S., A. Neild, Jacob Bright, M.P., and 
E. A. Freeman. 

Mr. Freeman said he had great pleasure in support- 
ing the resolution. He supposed that he and Mr. 
Roundell were there as being in some sort representa- 
tives of one of the two ancient universities of the land. 
The members of the old institutions ought to feel, and 
he was sure that they largely did feel, a special 
sympathy in the planting of an institution like Owens 
College here in such a city as Manchester. It was 
called a college, but it had really much more of the 
character of a university ; and it was as a new univer- 
sity there in Manchester that he was ready and 
delighted to welcome it. It was a great and noble 


work which had been begun in their city. Manchester, 
as it seemed to him, was exactly at the stage when a 
city might be most reasonably expected to undertake 
great local works calling at once for liberality and for 
an enlightened public spirit. The city was less than a 
capital ; it was more than an ordinary town. And, as 
such, it was more likely to devise and to accomplish 
great works than either a capital or an ordinary town. 
In an ordinary town there is not the required means, 
the needful wealth, while in a capital local patriotism 
is outgrown. In Manchester he conceived that local 
patriotism was not outgrown, that there was a local 
feeling for the city as a local city, and a zeal for any 
great work which might at once be to its profit and to 
its honour. He looked then upon Owens College as 
a university rising in a great city ; neither did he : look 
on a great city as an unfitting place for a great univer- 
sity. As a rule, the ancient universities of Europe had 
arisen in great cities. Owens College, unlike most 
modern institutions, did not begin w r ith a building. 
Here was a college which had been at work for a good 
many years, and the common academical buildings were 
only now being planned. This was just as it should 
be ; at any rate it was just in the spirit of the old 
founders. They got their men first, and let the build- 
ings come afterwards. If Owens College had hitherto 
to do with somewhat makeshift buildings, it was just 
what the old colleges of Oxford did for a while, and in 
both cases for the same reason, because the college 
itself, the living members of the college, came first in 
the ideas of the founders, and the material house existed 
for their sake only. Mr. Freeman spoke of the close 
connection between the various courses of study in a 
university curriculum, although at first sight they 


appeared so dissimilar ; he highly approved of the 
proposed constitution of the college, especially the 
introduction of associates to its government. In con- 
clusion, he said he believed it to be an institution 
founded on sound and trustworthy principles, an institu- 
tion whose course of study duly combined the present 
with the past, and which therefore gave the brightest 
hopes for the future. 

The history of this part of the committee's work 
fittingly comes in here. 

On the 25th May, 1868, they appointed a sub-com- 
mittee to prepare a draft for the new constitution. The 
sub-committee engaged the services of Mr. James Bryce, 
barrister-at-law, public orator and Regius professor of 
civil law at Oxford. The sub-committee reported on the 
1 4th July, that upon the general question of making 
progress towards the effective organisation of the ex- 
tended college, they thought the extension committee 
and the trustees of the college would do well to make 
arrangements for bringing a bill into Parliament in the 
session of 1869-70 for the purpose of constituting the 
new institution and enabling it to incorporate the Owens 
College, and to deal with the several trust funds then 
attached to that trust and severally regulated by inde- 
pendent deeds of settlement. The Act once passed, the 
details of the proposed amalgamation might be worked 
out afterwards, and carried into effect under the powers 
of the Act upon a recommendation by the court of the 
new body with the approval of Her Majesty in council. 

The draft bill was approved by the extension com- 
mittee, November 3rd, 1869, and by the trustees of the 
college on the I7th February, 1870. The latter body 
passed a resolution stating: " That the trustees cordially 
approve of the application to Parliament now promoted 


by the extension committee: and especially approve of 
the proposed scheme as a means of procuring some 
modifications of certain characteristic features of Mr. 
Owens's foundation, which they have already found 
occasion to desire to alter, but which appear to be un- 
avoidably connected with the maintenance of the college 
under a private tr.ust. That the trustees, having had 
the proposed constitution as set forth in the schedule 
to the bill submitted to them for consideration, are of 
opinion that that scheme would be practically sufficient 
and effective, and would be such as they might be able 
and willing, with due regards to the interests of the en- 
larged college, to accept if the bill should become law." 
Resolved : " That the Rev. Canon Gibson, Dr. Eason- 
Wilkinson, and Mr. Hardcastle be appointed a com- 
mittee, with the Principal, to confer with the promoters 
of the bill, and assist them in carrying the same through 
Parliament, with power to retain and instruct counsel 
on behalf of the trustees." The executive committee, 
in adopting the draft scheme as prepared by their sub- 
committee, resolved to lay it before their subscribers at 
the public meeting on December 3rd; they also resolved 
that in the meantime the needful steps should be taken 
for bringing a bill into Parliament during the next session, 
for the incorporation of a body of governors for an in- 
stitution, to be organised on the basis of the scheme of 
constitution that day provisionally adopted, for the 
purpose of the general advancement of education in the 
districts of and around South Lancashire, by means of a 
college or aggregate institution to be maintained in or 
near Manchester, wherein young persons of either sex 
might receive instruction in such branches of learning 
and science as may from time to time be usually pursued 
at the English universities, or as may otherwise be 


sanctioned by the government for the time being. The 
governors to be empowered to hold the Owens College 
Extension Subscription Fund and receive augmentations 
thereof, and to purchase land and erect college buildings, 
and arrange schemes of education and endowment, 
with full powers of investment of trust funds. That 
in the bill especial provision, with suitable enabling 
clauses, be made for the incorporation of the institution 
known as Owens College, and for the transfer to the 
same of the officers and members thereof, and of all 
current endowments and trusts to the new institution, 
upon such terms as may hereafter be agreed upon, and 
may receive the approval of Her Majesty in council. 

A bill committee, consisting of Messrs. Ashton, 
Neild, Houldsworth, Greenwood, Thompson, Philips, 
Christie, and Darbishire, was appointed to confer with 
and direct Messrs. Aston and Son, as solicitors to the 
committee, the promoters of the bill. The committee 
was also instructed to prepare a list of twenty-four 
gentlemen, to be submitted to the meeting of subscribers, 
as the first governors of the proposed institution, and to 
consider and suggest a name for the new college. 

It was resolved by the bill committee that the Chair- 
man, with Messrs. Darbishire and Thompson, be re- 
quested to draw up a report on the position of the funds, 
which was to be presented with the building plans at the 
meeting of subscribers. It was also resolved : " That 
considering the established and characteristic position 
of Owens College, the committee recommend the adop- 
tion of the words ' The Owens College, Manchester,' 
as the style of the proposed extended institution." In 
their report to the executive the bill committee stated : 
" That no name can be so appropriately or so worthily 
adopted for the proposed new establishment as one 


which will continue the title already so honourably dis- 
tinguished as that of Owens College, and recommend 
the adoption as the style of the future foundation of 
the title, ' The Owens College, Manchester.' ' They 
further recommend that the first life governors shall be 
the trustees for the time being for educational purposes 
under the will of the late Mr. Owens and the members 
of the extension committee. Vacancies would be filled 
up by the first governors. 

The committee had instructed Mr. Reilly, a dis- 
tinguished parliamentary draftsman, to prepare, and they 
had then under consideration, the draft of an "Owens 
College Bill, 1870." In accordance with a request 
of the solicitiors to the college, it was resolved: "That 
the following gentlemen be requested to sign as pro- 
moters the petition for the Owens College, Manchester, 
Bill so soon as the same shall be prepared, viz.: 
Messrs. Thomas Ashton, Oliver Hey wood, Joseph 
Gouge Greenwood, William Henry Houlds worth, Joseph 
Thompson, Herbert Philips, Richard Copley Christie, 
Henry Enfield Roscoe, and Robert Dukinfield Darbi- 

The year closed with the gratifying announcement 
from their chairman, that the overseers of Manchester 
had voted a sum of ^1,000 from their interest fund to 
the Owens College Extension Fund. 




has been no period in the history of the 
* college so important and so full of anxiety to the 
chief actors as the first half of the year 1870. The bill 
had been prepared, and it was resolved that the three 
members for Manchester Sir Thomas Bazley, Bart., 
and Messrs. Bright and Birley be asked to take 
charge of it in the House of Commons, and Lord Derby 
in the House of Lords. The bill before its introduction 
had to run the gauntlet of the Standing Orders Com- 
mittee, and it bears on the face of it the searching 
observations of the chairman (Lord Redesdale). In 
prominent red letters appears the ominous remark of his 
lordship, that "This is a bill for incorporating a non- 
existent charity, and enabling it to annex the property 
of another charity, setting aside to a great extent the 
expressed intention of the founders. I don't think any- 
thing of the kind has ever been done, and it would be a 
very bad precedent." He closed with the words: " If 
this bill proceeds it must go of course to the Attorney- 
General." It required some nerve to go on with a bill 
with such a preface and conclusion ! 

The bill was introduced in the House of Lords by 
the Earl of Derby, and on the motion of Lord Redesdale 
was referred to the Attorney-General for examination 
and report. 


On the 2nd of February, Mr. Darbishire read a letter 
to the executive committee from their parliamentary 
agents Messrs. Wyatt and Hoskins respecting Lord 
Redesdale's action on the matter of the bill. It was 
suggested that Sir Thomas Bazley should write to 
Lord Redesdale with a copy of the bill, and ask for an 
appointment for a conference with himself and one or 
two gentlemen interested in the bill. Mr. Darbishire 
also stated that it would not be objectionable to put the 
names of the three members for Manchester at the back 
of the bill, and that Lord Redesdale would do all that 
was necessary if the bill reached the House of Lords. 
It was arranged that Mr. Ashton and Mr. Darbishire 
should join Sir Thomas Bazley in his conference with 
the Attorney-General ; and they were requested also to 
call upon Lord Redesdale if they thought it necessary. 

The Attorney-General (Sir Robert Porrett Collier) 
promised Sir Thomas Bazley that he would make no 
report until he had seen the deputation; but, through 
illness, he never appointed a day for the interview, 
and without having seen the deputation he presented 
his report to the Lords on the i8th February, and 
after reciting the main conditions of Owens's trust 
drew attention to some of the salient points of the bill. 
In his opinion upon it he said: "This bill appears to 
me to be of an unusual character, and I think gives 
rise to serious considerations. Although called a bill 
for the extension of Owens College, Manchester, an 
endowed and apparently flourishing charity of large 
scope and of recent date, the scheme of the bill is to 
create a new and distinct incorporated body of a public 
nature for educational purposes, and then to authorise 
the trustees of Owens College, with the consent of the 
Charity Commissioners, to extinguish their trusts, and 


to transfer all the endowments and property belonging 
to or connected with Owens College to such new body, 
which is to absorb the whole without (it would seem) 
even the founder's name being preserved. According 
to the usual method of dealing with such foundations, 
any enlargement of the existing foundation which may 
be desirable should proceed from within, and be pro- 
moted under the previous sanction of the court or of 
the Charity Commissioners. The founder of Owens 
College expressly authorises his trustees to apply, if 
necessary, for a charter of incorporation. Your lord- 
ships will observe that, in the proposed institution which 
is to absorb Owens College, there is no provision re- 
sembling one of the two fundamental conditions of the 
Owens trust, viz.: the preference first in favour of 
Manchester, and then of South Lancashire ; that there 
is no account given of the collateral foundations which 
are by section twenty-five transferred absolutely in 
favour of the proposed institution ; that dispositions of 
property by the proposed body are not made subject to 
the sanction of the Charity Commissioners ; and that 
it does not appear why the contracts of the proposed 
corporation should not be regulated by the general law. 
Apart from special points, however, I venture to suggest 
that it is desirable that your lordships should consider 
how far the circumstances of the case justify the per- 
mission to extinguish an important trust not yet twenty- 
five years old, and whether any legitimate extension of 
the existing institution ought not to be applied for in 
another way, viz.: by means of proceedings taken on 
behalf of the charity with the previous sanction of, and 
after due consideration by, the proper judicial or other 

These very serious strictures had to be met, and the 


parliamentary agent urged that it would be necessary 
to convince Lord Redesdale that there was no force in 
the objections, as it was felt that his lordship's opposi- 
tion would prove fatal to the bill. 

Messrs. Ashton, Darbishire, and Christie, the deputa- 
tion to the Attorney-General, left for London the same 
night the report was received (February 2ist). They, 
with Sir T. Bazley, framed a long list of observations 
on the Attorney-General's report, which they submitted 
to him. The learned gentleman had not very carefully 
perused the bill, as in clause seven it distinctly stated 
that " The life governors and other the governors for 
the time being of the college . . . are hereby incor- 
porated by the name of 'The Owens College.' ' Yet Sir 
Robert had written that "the new body is to absorb 
the whole without even the founder's name being pre- 
served!" He had written as though the scheme had 
been promoted by persons outside the college, who 
were to override the trustees, whilst the third schedule 
gave the names of twenty-one of the first life governors, 
which included the ten trustees. 

The promoters were exceedingly anxious about the 
fate of their bill, and immediately after preparing the 
document for the Attorney-General took counsel with 
its draftsman. Mr. Reilly on the 23rd February gave 
them his opinion, fie stated that the promoters could 
only attain their object by legislation at some time or 
in some form. "Incorporation," he said, "might be 
obtained on an application to the crown for a charter. 
It might also be obtained by registration under the 
Companies Act of 1862, with a dispensation from the 
use of the addition 'limited' to the corporate name to 
be granted by the Board of Trade, on application under 
the Companies Act of 1867. But incorporation is only 


subsidiary to the main object, the modification of the 
existing college. This can only be effected, I think, by 
Act of Parliament. If the bill is now stopped, and the 
subscribers and the trustees are sent to the Charity 
Commissioners, and they approve of the plan embodied 
generally in the bill and work it out in a detailed scheme, 
the scheme will not have effect until it is confirmed by 
Act of Parliament. So that after a series of proceedings 
of this kind, recourse would still have to be made to the 
legislature. It seems, therefore, not unreasonable that 
the promoters should desire to have the whole matter 
disposed of on the bill which is actually pending. The 
protection afforded by it to the trustees of the existing 
charity seems ample, as nothing can be done to affect 
their trusts without first their consent and second the 
approval of the Charity Commissioners." 

The deputation waited upon the Attorney-General 
and discussed his objections point by point, and so far 
convinced him that on the 28th February he sent a 
further report to the " lords spiritual and temporal." It 
appeared, he said, that the present trustees of the college 
were supporting the said bill, that the proposed institu- 
tion would have the benefit of subscriptions exceeding 
,50,000, and of the cession of museums and endow- 
ments of the Natural History and Geological Societies; 
the total value of these being more than ^"80,000. The 
deputation having made these statements to him, he 
thought it his duty to communicate them to their lord- 
ships, leaving it with them to judge what weight should 
be attributed to them. 

No sooner had this ray of hope been enkindled than 
it was dashed by the appearance of still more formid- 
able opposition. On the 4th March, Mr. Stephen 
Heelis applied to Messrs. Aston for a copy of the 


bill. This was lent, and returned the same day with a 
portentous note from Messrs. Slater, Heelis, & Co., 
saying : " Mr. Heelis, as one of Mr. Faulkner's execu- 
tors, and consequently one of Mr. Owens's personal 
representatives, writes by this post to Lord Redesdale 
on the subject of the bill." On being waited upon, Mr. 
Heelis stated that his objections related principally to 
clause iv. It ran thus: "There may be established and 
for ever maintained in or near the city of Manchester, 
subject and according to the provisions of this Act, a 
college wherein young persons including, if and when 
the proper authorities of the college so direct, persons 
of the female sex may receive instruction in such 
branches of learning and science as are or may be 
for the time being usually studied at the English 
universities or as shall from time to time be directed 
by the proper authorities of the college." His objec- 
tions as summarised were : i. To the power to include 
females in the advantages of the college. 2. To the 
omission in the definition of students that they must 
not be under fourteen years of age. 3. To the de- 
scription of the studies as the branches of learning 
usually studied instead of usually taught. 4. In clause 
iv. he objected to the word "or," and proposed to 
substitute "and," alleging that the word ^'or" would 
enable the authorities to put aside the university 
subjects and devote the college resources to entirely 
different subjects at their own discretion. Seeing that in 
the critical position of the bill, and having regard 
to the unfavourable views already expressed by Lord 
Redesdale and Sir R. Collier, the opposition of the 
legal personal representative of the founder would 
probably prove fatal, Messrs. Darbishire and Christie, 
after consultation with Mr. Aston, agreed, on considera- 


tion of Mr. Heelis's undertaking: (i) To withdraw 
opposition to the bill ; (2) to state to Lord Redesdale that, 
so far as he was concerned, the second reading might 
take place; they on their part would, when the bill came 
before committee, substitute for the words " including, 
if and when the proper authorities of the college so 
direct, persons of the female," the following words taken 
from the testator's will, viz. : "Of the male sex (being of 
an age of not less than fourteen years);" and they would 
substitute for the word "or" in the last line but one of 
the same section the word "and." They also promised 
Mr. Heelis that he should have ample opportunity of 
submitting to the promoters and the Lords' committee 
any further alterations in the bill which he might think 
desirable. Mr. Heelis agreed to these terms, and 
promised to inform Lord Redesdale that he withdrew 
his opposition to the second reading. During the dis- 
cussion and in the settlement of the arrangement, 
Messrs. Christie and Darbishire stated to Mr. Heelis 
that, although if the promoters adopted their under- 
taking they would be bound to submit the bill with the 
alterations stated, and would not, either directly or 
indirectly, seek for any modification of such alterations, 
yet they could not undertake to prevent the reinstate- 
ment in either House of the words giving power to 
extend the benefits of the college to females, should 
such reinstatement be moved and insisted upon by any 
member of either House of their own accord. The 
executive committee, having heard the report, resolved 
that the action of Messrs. Darbishire and Christie be 
approved, but that the committee regretted the necessity 
of the measure, their conviction being strongly in favour 
of including the power in the bill to extend the benefits 
of the college to women. The bill committee was 


requested to revise the draft in accordance with the 
undertaking given to Mr. Heelis. Notwithstanding 
this concession having been made, and Mr. Heelis's 
opposition having been withdrawn, the difficulties in the 
way of further progress seemed to be insurmountable. 

On the 7th March, Lord Redesdale received the 
Manchester deputation and expressed to them his 
objections to the bill. The second reading was to take 
place the same afternoon. He drew up the following 
memorandum, which he presented to the Lords : "Owens 
College Bill. Some weeks before the meeting of Par- 
liament the bill was sent by me to the agents with the 
following note to be submitted to the promoters : 'This 
is a bill for incorporating a non-existent charity, and 
enabling it to annex the property of another charity, 
setting aside to a great extent the expressed intention 
of the founder. I do not think anything of the kind has 
ever been done, and it would be a very bad precedent.' 

"When the bill was introduced it was sent according 
to the order of the House to the Attorney-General, 
who thus reported on it. ' This bill appears to be of 
an unusual character, and, I think, gives rise to serious 
considerations. Although called a bill for the extension 
of Owens College, an endowed and apparently flourish- 
ing charity of large scope, and of recent date, the 
scheme is to create a new and distinct incorporated 
body of a public nature for educational purposes, and 
then to authorise the trustees of Owens College, with 
the consent of the Charity Commissioners, to extinguish 
their trusts, and to transfer all the endowments and 
property belonging to or connected with Owens College 
to such new body. According to the usual mode of 
dealing with such foundations, any enlargement of the 
existing foundation which may be desirable should 


proceed from within, and be promoted under the previous 
sanction of the Court of the Charity Commissioners.' 
"Supported by this opinion, I objected to the bill for 
the following reasons : It has two objects^^r^, the 
incorporation of a non-existent charity; secondly, the 
fusion of Owens College into that so incorporated. I 
object to the first, because there is not any precedent 
for such a proceeding, and as the proposed institution 
can be established under public Acts, it is inexpedient 
to sanction a new principle in private legislation which 
is sure to be most inconveniently extended. I object 
to the second, because the founder of this charity, not 
yet twenty-five years old, has given the following large 
power to the trustees : ' I empower the said trustees, 
from time to time, to extend, alter, or vary all or any of 
the aforesaid trusts, provisions, schemes, orders, rules, 
and regulations, but so, nevertheless, that such trust, 
provision, scheme, order, rule, and regulation, as well 
original as extended, altered or varied, shall be con- 
sistent with the aforesaid general object of the said 
fundamental rules and conditions ;' and it appears to 
me a very dangerous precedent to establish that such a 
provision may be set aside by private legislation without 
the sanction first obtained of the Court of Chancery 
or the Charity Commissioners ; and although the Bill 
subjects the proposed arrangements to the approval of 
the latter, they ought to be left to their own unbiassed 
judgment in coming to any decision, without having 
what they may consider the implied approval of Parlia- 
ment to guide them, which the passing of this bill 
would afford. I must further observe that the govern- 
ment now refuse to advise Her Majesty to grant 
charters' even to established and flourishing educational 
institutions, because the same object can be obtained 


through public Acts. The policy thus sanctioned ap- 
plies far more strongly to a private Act of Parliament 
than to a charter, there not being any precedent for the 
former, and many for the latter. The promoters object 
to the delay which the rejection of the bill will occasion. 
As the buildings of the new college cannot be ready for 
a year, and probably for a longer period, this delay will 
not be of any consequence. Moreover, although I 
believe that the promised subscriptions will be obtained, 
I object to treat with an embryo body, and in my 
opinion the new college should be established, and at 
least in an advanced state towards completion, and the 
other promised advantages of the transfer of the 
museums and endowments of the Manchester Natural 
History and Geological Societies secured to it, before 
application should be made for the transfer to it of 
Owens College, now flourishing in independence. I 
think that the Charity Commissioners should not be 
invited by Parliament to deal with such an institution 
without such assurance of secured advantages, and 
when the proper time comes for their issuing the desired 
order, it will be confirmed by Act of Parliament without 
cost to the charities to be then united. REDESDALE." 

When these strictures came before the executive 
committee, Mr. Darbishire intimated that, owing to the 
objections taken by Lord Redesdale to the power pro- 
posed by clause xxiv. to be given to the Charitable 
Trusts Commissioners, it might be necessary to revise 
that clause, so as to provide that any future alteration 
of the scheme sanctioned by the commissioners should 
also be laid for forty days on the tables of the Houses 
of Parliament. This clause was to the effect that the 
governors and trustees of the college might from time 
to time enter into and execute such agreements and 


arrangements as they might think expedient for the 
following purposes : " For the alteration or extinguish- 
ment for the purpose of this Act of the existing trusts 
and regulations of and affecting the Owens College, 
and the endowments and foundations primary and 
collateral of and connected with and the property and 
rights of the Owens College." There were four other 
clauses, but this was the most important, and that to 
which exception was principally taken. 

The promoters lost no time in preparing replies. 
Lord Redesdale's objections were taken in detail and 
conclusive answers given to them. They are too 
lengthy to be reproduced, but the postscript gives the 
substance of the reply to the most important objection 
that of setting aside the old institution. 

" The promoters desire it to be distinctly understood 
that the extension movement originated with the trus- 
tees of the existing college and has been continued with 
their continual cooperation, and that the trustees dis- 
tinctly and formally approve of the present application 
made by their friends outside, with whom some of their 
own body are now engaged in promoting the present 
bill. They (the trustees) have never been in a position 
to take a scheme for enlargement to the Charity Com- 
missioners until the subscribers to the extension fund 
were ready to treat with them upon the footing of an 
established fund. This establishment they seek and 
conceive that they are entitled to receive at the hands 
of the public." 

The promoters issued a printed memorandum giving 
in brief and pithy sentences the salient points of their 
case ; they also issued another printed document con- 
taining their reasons for a second reading of the bill. 
These documents were freely circulated among noble 


lords and others who might be favourably influenced 
by the strong arguments and statements adduced. 

In his speech in Parliament Lord Harrowby briefly 
reviewed the history of the college and the work of the 
extension committee, and, in speaking of the funds col- 
lected and promised, said it was felt that in the case of so 
large an endowment there should be some better security 
than that of private persons, and as part of the money 
had been invested in land, and a number of transactions 
had occurred, some organisation in the nature of an 
Act of incorporation was wanted to give legality and 
stability to any future proceedings. The bill proposed, 
therefore, to incorporate the new contributors, and to 
authorise them to come to an agreement with the 
college trustees, so as to combine in carrying out the 
scheme of extension. He stated the great objection 
there was to establish a great educational institution 
under the Companies Act, which was clearly designed 
for commercial undertakings. The promoters' scheme 
was, in fact, one for a great northern university, and 
there was no fear of the powers now asked for being 

Lord Redesdale said he felt it extremely painful to 
object to a measure which so many eminent persons 
were desirous to see carried ; he stated the objections 
he had already put in writing, and said the magnitude 
of the project was a cause of the greatest danger, be- 
cause if this were allowed how could private legislation 
be secured against the most flagrant abuse ? 

Earl de Grey admitted the weight due to the opinion 
of Lord Redesdale, but said that the government, after 
careful consideration, had come to the conclusion that 
his objections were not such as should induce the House 
to reject the bill. 


The House divided, when there were : Contents, 
thirty - three ; non-contents, six; majority, twenty - 

It may be interesting to readers to know who voted. 
The contents were: The Lord Chancellor Hatherley; 
Dukes St. Albans, Sutherland, and Argyll ; Mar- 
quises Lansdowne, Normanby, and Huntly; Earls 
Airlie, Camperdown, Cowper, de Grey and Ripon, 
Derby, Granville, Harrowby, Kimberley, Lichfield, 
Morley (teller), Shaftesbury, Cork (teller), Charlemont, 
Stair, and Bessborough; Viscount Sydney; Lords Bel- 
per, Camoys, Dufferin, de Tabley, Houghton, Lurgan, 
Lyveden, Northbrook, Vernon, and Wrottesley. The 
non-contents were: Viscounts Eversley and Hawarden 
(teller) ; Lords Abercromby, Monson, Redesdale 
(teller), and Wynford. 

Lord Redesdale stated that if the bill came before 
him as unopposed he should certainly refer it to a com- 
mittee of the whole House. He complained that there 
had been a government "whip" issued for that bill. 
He feared that more mischief had been done that night 
with regard to private bill legislation than had occurred 
during the whole time he had been chairman of com- 

The Lord Chancellor defended the course taken, and 
said the measure was one of immediate local interest, 
and it appeared to him to fall fairly within the standing 
orders and the rules and regulations relating to private 

Meanwhile hearty thanks were passed by the execu- 
tive to Lord de Grey and Ripon for the courtesy and 
attention rendered by him to its representations, and 
for his assistance in securing a fair hearing for its case 
as promoting the Owens College Extension Bill and 


especially for his exertions on behalf of the promoters 
in securing a second reading of their bill in the House 
of Lords. To Lord Harrowby a similar resolution was 
sent, with the addition of thanks to him for moving the 
second reading of the bill. 

The executive committee were well pleased with the 
progress of their bill, and passed a vote expressing their 
very sincere thanks for the courteous attention and in- 
valuable assistance rendered to them in procuring a 
second reading of the bill in the House of Lords, to 
Colonel Wilson Patten, M.P., Sir Thomas Bazley, 
M.P., Hugh Birley, M.P., Jacob Bright, M.P., and 
W. Rathbone, M.P. The committee approved of and 
adopted the alterations made in the bill, and instructed 
their agents to submit the corrected copy to Lord 

On the 1 6th March the agents informed the com- 
mittee that the forty days had expired during which the 
bill had lain on the table, and that no petitions having 
been lodged against it, the committee might go before 
Lord Redesdale as soon as convenient. 

At a meeting of the executive on 23rd March, a 
letter from Messrs. Wyatt and Hoskins was read, in 
which they stated that Lord Redesdale had no objec- 
tion to the bill going before a private committee 
before being submitted to a public one, and on the 
25th March the bill came before Lord Redesdale; 
Lords Harrowby, Eversley, Morley, and Airlie also 
being present. Mr. Wyatt stated that the personal 
representative of the testator having objected to the 
words enabling the benefits of the college to be 
extended to the female sex, the promoters had reluc- 
tantly consented to omit them, 1 though some of them 

1 So reported in the Manchester Courier, March 26th, 1870. 


were not parties to this concession, and would like to 
appeal against it. Lord Redesdale was anxious that 
nothing should be inserted in the bill which would force 
the Charity Commissioners to take any particular view. 
They should be perfectly free to say what the terms of 
the union should be, and this was the understanding on 
which the second reading was agreed to. Mr. Ashton 
said he should have preferred the point left open as to 
females. The old trust, however, provided that only 
males should be admitted to the benefits of the college. 
Lord Redesdale accepted the vote of the House on the 
second reading as to incorporation, and he proposed to 
shape the bill so that it would give the promoters full 
power to make a new institution. He proposed in 
clause iv. to provide that any young persons' might 
receive instruction without restricting it to males, as he 
did not wish to tie the promoters in any way. 

The bill came up for a third reading on Monday, 
April 4th. Lord Redesdale reminded their lordships 
that when the measure was before the House at a 
previous stage, he raised some objection to it on the 
ground that it was brought in as a private instead of a 
public bill. However, the parties interested had since 
attended before him, and the promoters of the bill had 
agreed to the insertion of clauses which he thought 
desirable in order to secure to Parliament that juris- 
diction which, as the bill was originally framed, Parlia- 
ment would have been deprived of. Under these 
circumstances, he thought there was no necessity for a 
committee of the whole House. The bill was read a 
third time, and passed. 

Meanwhile Mr. Heelis, in a letter dated March 26th, 
1870, and addressed to Messrs. Aston, drew attention 
to the report in the Courier of that date. He said that 


if it were a correct representation of what passed he 
must protest against the course which the promoters 
were taking, as being at variance with the understanding 
come to by him with Messrs. Christie and Darbishire, 
and confirmed by Mr. Ashton. It seemed to him from 
the report that the bill would be different from that 
originally proposed. He, however, reserved the right 
of putting forward the understanding he had with the 
promoters, when and as he might think fit. Messrs. 
Aston and Christie at once called upon Mr. Heelis, and 
referring to the letter stated that it was the wish of the 
extension committee not to violate their engagement 
with him, and accordingly Mr. Wyatt was proposing to 
Lord Redesdale to omit the reference to females in the 
preamble. His lordship, however, wished to leave the 
matter perfectly open so as not to bind the parties or 
the Charity Commissioners, and, therefore, proposed to 
alter the preamble as suggested, and also to confine 
clause four to " young persons," leaving out any 
reference to sex ; that Mr. Ashton had stated to 
Lord Redesdale that he thought it only right to men- 
tion to his lordship that an attempt would be made by 
members of one or other House to restore the words 
as to females ; that it had been matter of repeated 
remark between Mr. Ashton, Mr. Darbishire, Mr. 
Wyatt, and Mr. Aston that faith must be kept with 
Mr. Heelis : and that it had been determined on 
reprinting the bill to restore the clause as agreed on 
with Mr. Heelis. 

The bill was brought into the House of Commons 
on April 5th, and in the absence of Mr. W. E. Forster, 
the first reading was moved by Mr. W. Rathbone. It 
was read a second time without opposition on the 25th, 
and went into committee. 


At a meeting of the executive on the 27th, Mr. 
Ashton reported having received a letter inquiring 
what alterations the executive wished to have made in 
committee on the bill, and handed in a copy of his reply 
to the effect that the executive were bound to take no 
step to have the women's clause reinserted, but that it 
was also to be understood that they would not offer 
opposition if anyone else moved it. It was then 
arranged that if any official notice of amendments came 
to hand Mr. Christie should be informed thereof, so 
that he might communicate them to Mr. Heelis. 

On May gth, Mr. Christie wrote to Mr. Heelis, 
stating that the London agents had written to say that 
Mr. Jacob Bright had given notice of his intention to 
move an amendment restoring the words relating to the 
admission of females. Mr. Heelis took strong ex- 
ception to this, and urged that the promoters ought to 
endeavour to stop Mr. Bright's action. Mr. Christie 
said that, distasteful as the agreement necessarily was to 
the promoters, it had been strictly carried out by them, 
but it could not be expected that they would endeavour 
to control the independent action of a member of 
Parliament, who had already expressed the strongest 
disapproval of the alterations made in the bill by the 

On the 2oth May, the executive were made aware of 
an amendment in the bill, of which Mr. Cawley, the 
member for Salford, had given notice. The bill, as 
amended in committee, ran thus (clause xxiv., line 32): 
"But so that any agreement or arrangement for any of 
the purposes aforesaid shall have no operation unless 
and until it is approved by the Charity Commissioners 
of England and Wales, and certified in a scheme under 
their seal, etc., etc." Mr. Cawley wished to substitute 


for this that any agreement or arrangement "shall 
provide that so much of the endowments and property 
of the Owens College as shall arise from the bequest of 
the said John Owens shall be applied only to the pur- 
poses set forth in his said will." To this it was resolved 
that the most strenuous opposition should be given. It 
was also arranged that Messrs. Darbishire and Aston 
should prepare a memorandum setting forth the objec- 
tions of the committee, and that a copy of the memo- 
randum should be sent to each member of Parliament. 
Mr. Cawley subsequently agreed to modify his amend- 
ment so as to make it read " due regard being had to 
the intentions of the testator as set forth in his said 
will." This had been agreed to by a deputation which 
had waited upon him to try to induce him to withdraw 
his amendment. Lord Redesdale, however, objected 
to the suggested change, and he proposed to expunge 
the words giving an option to the governors as to the 
admission of females, by substituting the words " young 

A special meeting of the executive was held on 
June 2nd, when a letter from Mr. Moulds worth was 
read. It gave in detail what had been received by 
the executive by telegram on the previous day, and 
reported his conference with Messrs. Wyatt, Reilly, 
and Cawley. As to Mr. Cawley's amendment, it 
was agreed that if Lord Redesdale should decide to 
effect its excision the executive committee would 
acquiesce, but they would prefer to see it retained, and 
to take the risk of contest upon the clause before the 
Charitable Trusts Commissioners, rather than have an 
objectionable definition of the mode of their appearance 
before that body added to the provisions (in clause 
xxiv. or otherwise) of the bill. Messrs. Ashton and 


Darbishire were requested to go to London and en- 
deavour to arrange matters. 

On June 22nd, the secretary reported a letter from 
Mr. Ash ton to the solicitors to the effect that Lord 
Redesdale, Mr. Cawley, and Mr. Jacob Bright were 
agreed that clause iv. of the bill, which spoke of " a 
college wherein young persons, including if and when 
the proper authorities of the college so direct persons 
of the female sex, may receive instruction, etc.," should 
be amended so as to read : " such young persons as the 
proper authorities of the college may from time to time 
direct," not naming females. The bill was read a third 
time, and received the royal assent July 4th, 1870. 




A LTHOUGH the attention of the executive com- 
*"^ mittee was so largely and anxiously taken up 
during the first six months of the year in promoting 
The Owens Extension College Act, they did not neglect 
the work of extending. Early in May, Messrs. Clay 
and Son commenced to make the excavations, their 
tender for that work and for building the boundary 
walls having been accepted. 

The trustees of the college had felt the growing 
demands upon their funds, caused by the increase in the 
number of students and of their teaching staff, to be so 
great as to become serious ; they therefore waited upon 
the executive at their meeting, May i8th, with respect to 
a larger support of the existing chairs of science. The 
executive resolved : " That the committee, having re- 
ceived and considered a communication from the com- 
mittee of the Owens College trustees in reference to 
the science department of the present college, and 
especially in reference to the natural philosophy depart- 
ment, hereby resolve : ' That they will now establish a 
fund for the general endowment of the new college, the 
income of which shall in the meantime be placed at the 
disposal of the trustees until the amalgamation of the 
two institutions takes place; and that an active canvass 


for this purpose be undertaken by them in conjunction 
with the trustees of Owens College.' ' The following 
noble gifts were announced as a commencement of the 
fund: Charles F. Beyer, ,3,000; John Fielden, ^"1,000; 
Samuel Fielden, ,1,000; Joshua Fielden, .1,000; 
Thomas Ashton, ,1,000. At the same meeting, Mr. 
Waterhouse was present, and submitted an estimate of 
the cost of the building, including ordinary fittings such 
as fixed benches, cupboards, chimney-pieces and grates, 
the ordinary woodwork of the laboratory, benches in 
the large lecture rooms but not in the smaller ones. 
Boundary walls were not included in the estimate. It 
was resolved, after hearing this statement, that Mr. 
Waterhouse be authorised to proceed with excavations 
and foundations, and that he prepare an advertisement 
for tenders for the remainder of the building, to be sub- 
mitted to the committee within a month, and that he be 
requested also to supply the committee with Mr. Haden's 
written report on the plan for ventilation. 

On the ist of June a committee was appointed at 
Mr. Darbishire's suggestion, to arrange for the new 
governors taking ofHce, and also to draft a scheme for 
the amalgamation of the two institutions. It consisted 
of Messrs. Ashton, Neild, Stern, Houldsworth, Darbi- 
shire, Greenwood, Johnson, and Thompson. The latter 
function had reference to a bill which was to be presented 
to Parliament in the following session for the amalga- 
mation of the old and new colleges. 

At the executive meeting on June 29th, it was 
resolved to make a grant of .500 to the trustees of 
Owens College, from the fund towards the purchase of 
apparatus for the natural philosophy department, and 
also 320 per annum out of the same fund for the 
maintenance of that department. The secretary was 


instructed to call up the subscriptions promised, where- 
upon Mr. Richard Johnson, "to prevent any difficulty 
as to the grant of 500 for apparatus out of the fund," 
most generously offered to give that sum for the purpose. 

Having obtained their Act of Parliament, the executive 
committee thought the time had come when they should 
again meet their subscribers. They accordingly pre- 
pared their third report. It stated: 

i st. As to the Extension Fund. Since the last meeting 
of the subscribers the trade of the district had been so 
bad that there had been no active canvass for subscrip- 
tions; nevertheless 3,125. gs. lod. had been added to 
the extension fund, and ,9,500 to endowments. 1 The 
entire extension fund, including the estimated value of 
the Quay Street premises at "8,000 [they realised on 
sale .13,000], amounted to "102,030. 123. 2d. 

2nd. As to New Building. The committee had 
continued to give unremitting attention to the details of 
the plans prepared by Mr. Waterhouse, and to revise 
them from time to time with their accumulated ex- 

3rd. As to the Owens Extension College Act. In 
obedience to the authority granted them by the sub- 
scribers, the executive committee had successfully 
prosecuted their application for a bill to Parliament 
based upon the constitution adopted by the subscribers. 
The Act had appointed the following twenty-one life 
governors, who had power to elect three colleagues, 
and the twenty-four could then elect a president. The 
twenty-one Life Governors named in the Act were : 
Thomas Ashton, John Marsland Bennett, Charles F. 
Beyer, W. R. Callender, junr., Richard Copley Christie, 

1 Of this, two sums of ,1,000 each were not paid. 


Robert D. Darbishire, Rev. N. W. Gibson, Murray 
Gladstone, Edward Hardcastle, Oliver Hey wood, 
W. H. Houldsworth, Richard Johnson, J. L. Kennedy, 
Alfred Neild, Herbert Philips, John Robinson, S. J. 
Stern, John Edward Taylor, Joseph Thompson, Sir 
Joseph Whitworth, Bart., M. A. E. Wilkinson, M.D. 
They proposed to add: The Bishop of Manchester (Dr. 
Fraser), the Principal of the Lancashire Independent 
College (Mr. Henry Rogers), and Mr. Edward Behrens. 
The subscribers were recommended to authorise the 
executive committee to hand over to this new body (so 
soon as they should be in a position to receive them) the 
new college site and the extension funds, so that the 
new governors might arrange with the trustees of Owens 
College a scheme for amalgamation to submit to the 
Commissioners for Charitable Trusts, in order to carry 
out the provisions of the Owens Extension College 
(Manchester) Act. 

The meeting of subscribers was held at the Town 
Hall, July 22nd, 1870, when the report was agreed to 

The executive now turned their attention to the new 
building. The Duke of Devonshire consented, if elected 
by the court of governors, to accept the position of 
president of the extended college. The following gen- 
tlemen had been nominated as governors of the college 
for five years, namely: By the President: Sir James 
Kay-Shuttleworth, Bart., F.R.S., Sir John Lubbock, 
Bart., F.R.S., Sir William Fairbairn, Bart., F.R.S. By 
the Corporation of Manchester : John Grave, Esq., 
Robert Rumney, Esq. By the Corporation of Salford : 
C. E. Cawley, Esq., M.P. By the Lord President of 
the Privy Council : Sir Thomas Bazley, Bart., M.P., 
Thomas Huxley, Esq., F.R.S., Matthew Arnold, Esq., 


D.C.L. The tender of Messrs. Thomas Clay and Son, 
for the structure, amounting to .54,329, was accepted, 
and preparations were made for the ceremony of laying 
the foundation stone. 

The Duke of Devonshire laid the stone on Friday, 
September 23rd, 1870. The day was beautifully fine, 
and a large company met to witness the ceremony. 
Among them were the Duke of Devonshire, Lords 
Frederick and Edward Cavendish, Sir J. W. Lubbock, 
Bart., F.R.S., Sir J. P. Kay-Shuttleworth, Bart., Sir 
Thomas Bazley, Bart., M.P., Sir William Fairbairn, 
Bart., Sir J. lies Mantell, Sir E. W. Watkin, the Bishop 
of Manchester (Dr. Fraser); Professors Huxley, F.R.S., 
Tyndall, F.R.S., Clifton (Oxford), Henry (Washington, 
U.S.), and Nichol (Glasgow) ; Messrs. J. T. Hibbert, 
M.P., C. E. Cawley, M.P., H. Birley, M.P., Hon. A. 
Egerton, M.P., P. Rylands, M.P., J. Sidebottom, M.P., 
John Hick, M.P., W. C. Brocklehurst, M.P., R. N. 
Philips, M.P., J. Platt, M.P., D. Chadwick, M.P., T. 
Ashton, Oliver Heywood, A. Neild, H. Philips, Joseph 
Thompson, M. A. Eason Wilkinson, M.D., S. J. Stern, 
R. Johnson, J. E. Taylor, R. C. Christie, R. D. 
Darbishire, John Robinson, Dr. Joule, F.R.S., Principal 
Greenwood, and many of the professors of the college ; 
Revs. Canon Birch, Dr. M'Kerrow, James Gwyther, 
W. Gaskell, Alex. M'Laren, E. J. How, W. B. Pope, 
and Dr. Gottheil. 

The Bishop of Manchester read Psalm Ixvii. and 
suffrages (parts of Psalms cxxvii. and cxxi.), and offered 
up a special prayer. 

Mr. Thomas Ashton, chairman of the extension 
committee, presented an address to the duke, in which 
he pointed out the steady growth of the old college and 
the necessity for enlarged accommodation. During the 


previous session the members were: of day students, 
two hundred and nine ; and of evening students, four 
hundred and thirty-four. The projected buildings would 
provide accommodation for about six hundred day 
students, and for a much larger number of evening 
students; and would include chemical and physical 
laboratories. It was estimated that the cost of the 
buildings, the fittings, and the site would amount to 
.90,000 ; and they still required .30,000 to meet this, 
in addition to further endowments. 

At the conclusion of reading the address, Mr. Water- 
house presented the duke with a silver trowel which 
bore the duke's coat of arms, a perspective view from 
the north of what is now the western block of the 
college, and the following inscription : " Presented to 
his Grace the Duke of Devonshire, K.G., F.R.S., etc., 
the first president of Owens College, Manchester, on 
the occasion of his laying the corner-stone of the college 
building, September 23rd, 1870." 

Mr. Clay, the contractor, then deposited in a cavity 
below the stone a glass bottle containing some current 
coins of the realm, copies of the three daily Man- 
chester papers, the Times, and of the papers issued by the 
extension committee. The cavity was covered with a 
lead plate, upon which was inscribed (face downwards) : 
" The first stone of the buildings erected for The Owens 
College, Manchester, was laid by His Grace the Duke 
of Devonshire, K.G., F.R.S., etc., the first president, 
September 23rd, 1870. Architect: Alfred Water- 
house, Esq." 

The Duke of Devonshire then laid the stone, and 
said that valuable as Owens's gift had been in founding 
the college, his example had been equally valuable ; it 
had stimulated others to great exertions, and nearly 


every session witnessed to the acquisition of gifts and 
bequests. The friends of the college were convinced 
that it was of very great importance to enlarge the 
range of studies taught in the college, and to establish 
additional professorships, especially with the view to the 
prosecution of those studies which tended to promote 
the scientific basis of many of the industrial arts cul- 
tivated in Manchester and the neighbourhood. Looking 
at the interest which was so widely felt on the subject of 
education, he confidently believed that the complete 
fulfilment of all those objects was merely a question of 
time, and that Manchester was hereafter destined to 
become as celebrated as a seat of literature and science 
as it had long been the seat of many of the industries 
of the country. 

Professor Huxley thought there was a strong claim 
upon government for assistance in education, whether 
primary, secondary, or high class, such as that afforded 
at Owens College. Nevertheless, he congratulated 
Manchester in the independent position taken by them, 
that they had not waited till state aid came to them, but 
had at once responded to what they considered were the 
claims of duty. He asked them to think that the great 
stone thus solidly and firmly laid with precision and 
accuracy, and its adjustments tested by the great 
mechanical skill of the president, will be succeeded by 
another and another in slow succession, until by the 
repetition of the process they would have springing up 
there noble halls full of the appliances of the highest 
culture, and externally breaking out into columns and 
into ornamentations which will be a decoration to the 
city and a delight to the eye of every man who 
beholds it. 

Professor Tyndall said that what impressed him most 


with regard to Owens College was the vital power which 
its professors would bring to bear. It was on those 
men, working within its walls, that the future of the 
college depended, and if they cast their eyes upon what 
had been already done, they had the strongest hope that 
the future would not be unworthy of the past, and that 
the college would become truly great. 

Luncheon was afterwards given by the extension 
committee at the Town Hall, Mr. Ashton occupying 
the chair. ' In addition to those who attended the 
morning ceremony there were the professors of the 
college and a large number of subscribers to the exten- 
sion fund. 

The Duke of Devonshire, in responding to the toast 
of his health, said that Owens's desire and intention 
evidently was that his college should take as its standard 
the highest education to be found in the country. It 
was his wish that it should afford to the young men of 
Manchester and its neighbourhood an education not 
one whit inferior to the best to be obtained elsewhere ; 
and it was not uninteresting to observe that Mr. 
Owens made use of the words that seemed to him 
to express clearly that he was quite aware that uni- 
versity education in his day had no right to be con- 
sidered so perfect and complete as not to be capable of 
great enlargement and extension. In the language of 
his will he expressed his intention that his college 
should furnish instruction in all the branches of science 
and learning, heretofore, at that time, and henceforth, 
usually taught in English universities. The duke con- 
cluded with the toast, " Success to Owens College and 
its extension." To this Mr. Alfred Neild responded, 
and spoke of the peculiar position they were then in as 
having two colleges. 


The Chairman next proposed: "The Bishop and 
Clergy and Ministers of all Denominations," coupling 
with it the names of the Bishop of Manchester and the 
Rev. James Gwyther, the oldest nonconformist minister 
in Manchester; both of whom responded. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Hamley, C.E., responded for the 
army and navy. 

Professor Roscoe proposed the toast of the health of 
the President of the British Association (Professor 
Huxley), and with it he coupled the names of Sir John 
Lubbock and Professor Tyndall. 

Professor Huxley said he had listened with the 
greatest pleasure to the speech of the right reverend 
prelate. It embodied a spirit and a feeling that had not 
always been exhibited by men in his position. Of si sic 
omnia. Had such men always filled the episcopal office, 
and had the same spirit always animated nonconformist 
ministers as that which had been expressed by his 
friend Mr. Gwyther, he inclined to think there would 
have been no cases of antagonism between science and 
religion an antagonism which did not really exist, but 
which was the artifice and creation of men. He had 
endeavoured on all occasions to insist upon the absolute 
necessity of including in education the advantage of a 
training in science, using the term in its broadest sense. 
But, while he so strongly urged the study of science, he 
warned them against resting upon that alone. There 
were sides of mankind beyond his intellectual one ; there 
was that one side of the human mind, it was almost an 
instinct, that leads men to take an enjoying interest in 
the past. There were two ways of studying history 
the scientific method simply, and that totally different 
one, which was so well described by Goethe " the best 
thing that history does for us is the enthusiasm it gives 


us." It was that lesson of history which held up to the 
young a picture of noble and energetic men, struggling 
and sacrificing their lives to an ideal. It was the greatest 
dignity of mankind, particularly in the history of western 
nations, that there are to be found endless examples of 
such men who might be held up as models and exemplars, 
and by the help of whom an interest might be raised in 
the minds of the young which would never die out, and 
which led them to hold those men before them on the 
threshold of their career as a kind of oriflamme guiding 
them to higher and nobler things. 

Professor Tyndall and Sir John Lubbock also 

Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth next proposed "their 
foreign and scientific guests," connecting the toast with 
the name of Professor Henry, of America. He alluded 
to the cordial feeling existing between the old and new 
countries, and thought Professor Henry would admit that 
the civilisation of America was to be attributed some- 
what to the energy of their ancestors, and to what he 
was quite sure their worthy bishop would be the first to 
acknowledge, the faith of their Puritan forefathers, to 
the energy of their domestic institutions, to that indi- 
vidual purity, and to that high sense of principle, and 
that energy in the pursuit of all the objects worthy of 
man, by which those Puritan forefathers made the 
material subjugation of America inevitable. 

Professor Henry spoke of the debt he owed to Man- 
chester. He would give them a piece of advice their 
first necessity was an endowment, and that endowment 
must be free. They must remember that money was 
power, and every guinea had a vast amount of potential 

On the same day the first meeting of the court of 


governors of the Owens Extension College was held 
at the Royal Institution, the President (the Duke of 
Devonshire) in the chair. The minutes of proceedings 
of the preliminary meetings of governors held on 22nd 
and 2 /th days of July were read and confirmed. At 
the first of these meetings the three additional life 
governors were elected ; at the second it was announced 
that the Duke of Devonshire had consented to accept 
the office of president of the college. 

It was resolved: "That Messrs. Ashton, Christie, 
Darbishire, Houldsworth, Johnson, Neild, Stern, and 
Thompson be appointed a committee: (i) To revise the 
minutes of proceedings of the two preliminary meetings 
of governors, and arrange the same for confirmation at 
the first meeting of the court. (2) Forthwith to com- 
municate copies of the Owens Extension College, 
Manchester, Act, 1870, to the president, and to the 
mayor and corporation of Manchester ; the mayor and 
corporation of Salford; and the Lord President of the 
Privy Council; and to arrange with them respectively 
for the completion of their respective nominations. And 
also to suggest the names of three members of Parlia- 
ment for nomination as governors by the court. (3) To 
arrange and suggest business for the first meeting of 
the court on the 23rd of September, and to give due 
notice to the governors thereof, and of the business to 
be brought forward thereat; and to suggest the names 
of eight governors for appointment by the court, as 
members of the council. (4) To suggest the form of a 
common seal. (5) To draw up and submit a first code 
of bye-laws for regulating the register of governors, and 
the conduct of the business of their several meetings." 

The court then nominated three governors from 
among the members of Parliament for the counties and 


boroughs of Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire, and 
Derbyshire, namely: Hugh Birley, Esq., M.P. for 
Manchester, Jacob Bright, Esq., M.P. for Manchester, 
and John Tomlinson Hibbert, Esq., M.P. for Oldham. 
Mr. Alfred Neild was appointed treasurer of the 

It was resolved : " That with a view to the constitu- 
tion of a senate and to the election by it of professorial 
members of the council, this court do now appoint 
Joseph Gouge Greenwood, Esq., B.A., to be professor 
of the Greek language and literature, and the principal 
of the college; Augustus Samuel Wilkins, Esq., M.A., 
to be professor of Latin language and literature ; 
Adolphus William Ward, Esq., M.A., to be professor 
of English language and literature, and of ancient and 
modern history; Thomas Barker, Esq., M.A., to be 
professor of mathematics ; Balfour Stewart, Esq., LL.D., 
F.R.S., to be professor of natural philosophy; Osborne 
Reynolds, Esq., M.A., to be professor of civil and 
mechanical engineering; William Stanley Jevons, Esq., 
M.A., F.S.S., to be professor of logic and mental and 
moral philosophy, and of political economy ; James 
Bryce, Esq., D.C.L., to be professor of jurisprudence 
and law; Henry Enfield Roscoe, Esq., B.A., Ph.D., 
F.R.S., to be professor of chemistry ; William Craufurd 
Williamson, Esq., F.R.S., to be professor of natural 
history ; Tobias Theodores, Esq., to be professor of 
oriental languages, and of modern languages." The 
principal was requested to convene the senate on an 
early day for the purpose of electing the two professorial 
members of the council. 

Mr. J. Holme Nicholson was appointed registrar of 
the college. 

The court elected the following governors to be 


members of the council for two years, n'amely: Messrs. 
Ashton, Christie, Darbishire, Gladstone, Houldsworth, 
Johnson, Stern, and Thompson. 

It was resolved : " That for the present the common 
seal of the college be simply the words ' The Owens 
Extension College, 1870' inscribed within a double 
ring. Such design was to be reconsidered when the 
amalgamation of the Owens College is completed." 

Mr. Ashton, as chairman of the executive committee 
of the subscribers to the fund for the extension of 
Owens College, handed to the president, on behalf of 
the court : (a) A balance sheet, showing the amount 
of subscriptions received up to date by the committee, 
and its expenditure, with a cheque for ,16,022. 93. gd., 
the balance of cash in the bank. (^) And also a deed 
of conveyance to the college of the plot of land in Oxford 
Street, in the township of Chorlton-upon-Medlock, 
already purchased by the committee in his name. 

The accounts of the executive committee were ap- 
proved and adopted, and it was ordered that the seal 
of the college be affixed to the conveyance of the site 
of land. 

The following resolution (which is given in extenso, 
as it had to be offered in evidence to the Charity Com- 
missioners) was then unanimously passed on the motion 
of Rev. N. W. Gibson and Sir W. Fairbairn, Bart.: 
" That a committee be appointed to continue the can- 
vass for subscriptions and other additions to the building 
and endowment funds of the college: and to carry on 
the arrangements for erecting the new college buildings 
having recourse to the council for financial and other 
executive action. That such committee (to be called 
the extension committee) consist of the following 
governors : Messrs. Thomas Ashton, C. F. Beyer, W. 


R. Callender, jun., R. C. Christie, R. D. Darbishire, 
Murray Gladstone, Richard Johnson, John L. Kennedy, 
Alfred Neild, Herbert Philips, J. Robinson, S. J. Stern, 
Oliver Hey wood, W. H. Houldsworth, J. E. Taylor, 
Joseph Thompson, and Sir J. Whitworth, Bart, with 
the principal of the college, and with power to add to 
their number the professorial members of the council 
when elected; and that Mr. John Watts, Ph.D., be 
appointed secretary of that committee." 

It was also resolved: "That the extension committee 
be further instructed and empowered to conduct the 
treaty with the trustees of Mr. Owens's foundation and 
of the trusts attached to his institution, for the amal- 
gamation thereof with the college, and to settle such 
treaty, and to present the agreement or arrangement 
for carrying out the same to the council for the seal of 
the college; and to prosecute the application to the 
Charity Commissioners of England and Wales for their 
approval thereof and certification of the same in a 
scheme under their seal. And that the council be 
specially authorised by this court to take the necessary 
steps for submitting the scheme, when so certified and 
duly reported, to Her Majesty and to Parliament for 

The executive committee ceased to exist ; henceforth 
it became the extension committee, with Mr. Ashton as 
its chairman. The committee appointed on June ist 
was reappointed with Mr. Christie added, to prepare a 
scheme for the amalgamation of the two colleges. 

An active canvass was to be set on foot for sub- 
scriptions, and Dr. Roscoe was shortly able to report 
the promise of several large sums for the laboratory 

The "arrangement" sub-committee lost no time in 


preparing a scheme, and at their meeting on October 
5th they were able to adopt the "heads of agreement 
for amalgamation," and send them to the extension 
committee for examination and discussion. They were 
revised and slightly altered by that body and forwarded 
to the trustees of Owens College for their consideration. 

At the extension committee meeting, held October 
26th, Mr. Neild reported subscriptions from Miss 
Brackenbury, as follow: Building fund, ^500; school 
of mining, ^500; professorship of jurisprudence, ^500. 
Mr. Thompson handed in 66. 153. 4$., being the 
balance of governors' subscriptions to the luncheon fund 
at the laying of the foundation stone. Mr. Darbishire 
brought up an old draft of a proposal for the establish- 
ment of a professorship of geology and mining, and it 
was ordered that a draft report thereon be prepared. 

At their meeting, on the 7th December following, the 
council approved of the proposal for endowing a depart- 
ment of geology, including mineralogy and practical 
mining, and the extension committee was authorised to 
proceed with the appeal for subscriptions to endow the 
department. The noble president had promised ^1,000 
to the fund. The appeal was put off, as the committee 
was engaged for some time with more pressing work. 

The council of the extension college held its first 
meeting on Wednesday, 26th October, 1870. The 
treasurer produced a schedule of the title deeds of the 
Oxford Road site. 

On November gth, the conveyance from Mr. Ashton 
to the college of divers parcels of land in Chorlton-upon- 
Medlock was sealed by the treasurer, by instruction of 
the council. At the same meeting it was resolved that 
the senate be requested to consider and report upon the 
question of fees in the college, and the apportionment 


thereof for the use of the council. The senate were also 
to be requested to prepare and suggest a draft scheme 
of bye-laws for regulating the internal arrangements and 
discipline of the college, to be considered by the council. 
The council's business for the year concluded with 
the important resolution that the terms suggested as a 
basis of treaty for the Incorporation of the Royal 
Manchester School of Medicine with the College be 
approved of, and that the committee be authorised to 
proceed with the matter. 




A T the meeting of the extension committee, held 5th 
^"*- October, 1870, Mr. Aston produced a sketch of 
the measures which he thought necessary to facilitate 
the amalgamation of the two institutions. He also pre- 
sented a more detailed plan, prepared by Mr. Darbi- 
shire, which was also read ; and after discussion certain 
legal points were referred to Messrs. Christie and 
Darbishire, with a request that they would consult with 
Mr. Aston as to instructions for the proposed agree- 
ment, and report at the next meeting. 

Mr. Darbishire, on behalf of the arrangements com- 
mittee, presented a report, October iQth, on the 
proposed heads of agreement for amalgamation with 
Owens College. This report was discussed and revised, 
and ultimately adopted, and ordered to be forwarded to 
the trustees of Owens College for their consideration. 
It is not necessary to recapitulate the details in this 
place ; they had to undergo a searching scrutiny and 
revision in Parliament, and the final issue will be 

At the meeting of the extension committee, on 
November Qth, the heads of agreement as revised by 
the trustees of Owens College were reported by the 
arrangements committee, with a recommendation that 
the alterations should be adopted, and that the docu- 
ment should be presented to the council for its sanction. 


The report was adopted, and upon it was prepared a 
report to the council, in which the extension committee 
stated that they had received from the trustees of 
Owens College the resolutions and revised draft heads 
of agreement, and recommended to the council that 
the alterations in the heads of agreement proposed by 
the trustees of Owens College be approved of and 
adopted, and be signed by the chairman in testimony 
thereof : and that a small committee be appointed 
on behalf of the council to consider and settle the 
draft of an agreement to be prepared on the basis 
of the heads of agreement, concurrently with the 
committee appointed by the trustees, with or without 
the advice of counsel, and to take such steps towards 
the settlement thereof and the execution thereof by the 
proper parties as they might think fit, and in con- 
ference with the solicitors to concur in presenting the 
proposed agreement before the Charity Commissioners 
and elsewhere, as might be deemed necessary, reporting 
from time to time to the council. 

The communication from the trustees was as under: 
"At a special meeting of the trustees held at the college 
on November 3rd, 1870. The draft heads of proposed 
agreement between the trustees for educational pur- 
poses under the will of the late John Owens and the 
governors of the Owens Extension College incor- 
porated by The Owens Extension College (Man- 
chester) Act, 1870, pursuant to the powers vested in 
the said trustees and governors by the said Act, as now 
altered and fully discussed: It was resolved: 'That the 
heads of proposed agreement between the trustees for 
educational purposes under the will of the late John 
Owens and the governors of the Owens Extension 
College now read be and are hereby approved of and 


accepted by the trustees, as the basis of such proposed 
agreement, and that a copy thereof be now signed by the 
chairman in testimony of such approval and acceptance, 
and be handed to the committee of the extension college 
at the next meeting, subject to the consideration and 
settlement of the proposed agreement when drawn out 
in extenso!" Messrs. Neild, Darbishire, and Robinson 
were appointed a committee to act on behalf of the 
trustees, with any committee of the extension committee,, 
towards the settlement of the question. 

The ground being thus cleared, instructions were 
given to Mr. Reilly to draw up a scheme of amalgama- 
tion, to be submitted to the Charitable Trusts Commis- 
sioners for their approval ; and on February /th, 1871, 
Mr. Darbishire was able to present the draft agreement 
and scheme, with Mr. Reilly's opinion thereon. Printed 
copies of these documents were forthwith sent to the 
governors and trustees ; a date was fixed when the 
committee should meet to consider the drafts : and in 
the meantime Messrs. Aston and Son were to be 
requested to proceed with the preparation, in accord- 
ance with Mr. Reilly's opinion, of the draft declarations 
to be made by the registrar of the college : (a) As 
to the making of any deed under the founder's will; 
(6) As to the state of investments and property held 
in the various trusts ; and (c] Verifying the copies of the 
various documents submitted to Mr. Reilly. The ex- 
tension committee approved of the draft agreement, as 
proposed by the arrangement committee, and ordered it 
to be communicated to the trustees of Owens College. 

The Registrar reported to the committee that, on 
February 22nd, " The draft of an agreement to be made 
between the governors of the Owens Extension College 
of the one part, and the present trustees for educational 


purposes under the will of John Owens, late of the city 
of Manchester, merchant, deceased, of the other part, 
for amalgamation or union having been considered, and 
Mr. Neild having reported to the trustees that he and 
Mr. Darbishire had gone through the draft agreement 
with Mr. Aston, and had received from him the same, 
altered as he thought it ought to stand, and approved 
by him as solicitor to the trustees on their behalf; 
Resolved : ' That the draft agreement as altered and 
approved by the solicitor of the trustees, be approved 
and adopted by the trustees, and be entered on the 
minutes with the solicitor's letter to Mr. Neild, and 
that the draft be returned to the extension com- 
mittee of the council of the Owens Extension College 
accordingly for acceptance : And that the trustees do 
sign the same agreement, when presented to them for 
the purpose, as well in such capacity as trustees for 
educational purposes under the will of the late John 
Owens, as also in the capacity of trustees for the several 
special endowments held under the several indentures 
described in parts i., IL, in., iv., v., vi., vn., and vm. of 
the schedule annexed to the draft agreement.' ' 

Mr. Neild then reported formally to the committee 
the submission of the draft agreement for amalgama- 
tion to the trustees of Owens College, and their final 
approval of the same, subject to certain alterations 
which had been considered and approved by Mr. Aston 
as their solicitor. The alterations were considered and 
allowed, and it was then resolved: "That the agree- 
ment as now settled be finally approved and adopted 
on behalf of the extension college, and be prepared for 
execution in duplicate, and be reported to the council, 
with a recommendation that the same be sealed by the 
Owens Extension College." 


Messrs. Neild, Ashton, Greenwood, Christie, 
Darbishire, and Houlds worth were appointed a depu- 
tation to submit the agreement, together with the 
suggested draft scheme, to the Charity Commissioners, 
and to co-operate with the solicitors in the prosecution 
of the application for the commissioners' certificate of 

The committee agreed to report the above proceed- 
ings to the council, and requested them to seal and 
execute the agreement in duplicate, and return the 
document to the committee, with a view to the applica- 
tion to the Charity Commissioners of England and 
Wales for their approval thereof, and certification of 
the same, in a scheme under the seal. 

On March 8th, Mr. Ashton on behalf of the extension 
committee, and Mr. Neild on behalf of the trustees, 
wrote a joint letter to the Chanty Commissioners. 
They enclosed papers, including the Extension Act of 
1870; the agreement dated 22nd February, 1871, for 
union of the two colleges ; and the schedule of properties 
referred to in that agreement; with extracts from the 
minutes of proceedings of the trustees of Owens College, 
and of the governors of the extension college. They 
pointed out that by the twenty-fourth section of the Act 
of 1870, the governors and trustees were authorised to 
enter into agreements : " For the amalgamation or 
union of the Owens College with the college. For the 
alteration of the existing trusts and regulations of and 
affecting the Owens College, and the endowments and 
foundations primary and collateral of and connected 
with, and the property and rights of the Owens 
College, due regard being had to the intentions of the 
testator as set forth in his said will. For the adoption 
by the college of the professors, associates, students, 


officers, and servants of the Owens College. For the 
transfer to the college of the endowments and foun- 
dations primary and collateral of and connected with 
and the property and rights of the Owens College. 
For the transfer to the college of the contracts, 
engagements, and liabilities of the Owens College." 
The same twenty-fourth section provided that any such 
agreement '" shall have no operation unless and until it 
is approved by the Charity Commissioners for England 
and Wales, and certified in a scheme under their seal 
which shall, when so approved and certified, be forth- 
with reported to Her Majesty, and such report shall, 
within fourteen days after the making thereof, be laid 
before both Houses of Parliament, if Parliament be then 
sitting, or otherwise within fourteen days after the 
meeting thereof, and the scheme so reported shall be 
submitted to Parliament to be confirmed by Act of 
Parliament with or without any alterations or modifi- 
cations thereof, and such Act shall be deemed a Public 
General Act." "The Governors and Trustees," the 
letter continued to state, "have arranged terms of 
amalgamation or union and stated them in the agree- 
ment of February 22nd, 1871. The properties are 
enumerated in the schedule. This agreement we now, 
on behalf of the Extension College and the original 
Owens College, submit to your board for approval and 
certificate." The signatories to the letter respectfully 
urged that there might be no delay as they wished 
to get their bill that session, and to commence the 
work of the amalgamated college in October following. 
All necessary documents or needful information were 

On March 22nd, Mr. Ashton reported to the exten- 
sion committee that when in London he had called 


twice at the office of the Charity Commissioners, and 
had learned that there was every probability that the 
scheme would be approved in time to secure the sanction 
of Parliament during the session. 

This hopefulness was somewhat premature. On 
24th March, Mr. Henry M. Vane, secretary to the 
Charity Commissioners, wrote to say that the papers 
had been brought under the consideration of the board. 
The provision for the opening of the college without 
any apparent restriction to female as well as male 
students was a departure from the expressed objects of 
Owens's foundation, which might effect to a most 
important extent the future success and welfare of the 
institution. Messrs. Ashton and Neild were requested 
to explain for the further information of the commis- 
sioners, the grounds upon which the proposed innova- 
tion on that point was supported by the governors and 
trustees, and also whether the subscriptions in aid of 
the extension college were given to any and what 
extent, with the intention or knowledge on the part of 
the subscribers, that the education of females would 
form part of the scheme of the enlarged institution. 
Messrs. Ashton and Neild replied that by the sixth 
clause of the agreement of 22nd February, 1871, it 
was expressly declared that the liberty to make the 
amalgamated college available for female as well as for 
male students was to be without prejudice to the securing 
of the primary object of the original college, namely, 
the education of the male sex. It was not that the 
education of females would form part of the scheme of 
the enlarged institution ; but that the governors of the 
amalgamated college desired to secure, for use when 
they or their successors might think proper to exercise 
it, the power to allow females to receive instruction in 


the college as well as males. It was stated very fully 
that the subscribers had been made aware of the inten- 
tion to seek power to educate females as well as males; 
that the publicly advertised notice had stated that in 
the intended college " young persons of either sex may 
receive instruction in such branches of learning and 
science as may from time to time be usually pursued at 
the English universities." More to the same effect 
had been inserted in the notice, which had been printed 
at length in each of the three daily Manchester news- 

The letter then reviewed Lord Redesdale's action 
with the bill of the previous session and Mr. Heelis's 
objections. The public of Manchester had approved of 
the clause relating to the admission of females, and no 
subscriber had protested against it. The trustees of 
the college were quite favourable to the sixth clause of 
the agreement. Neither they nor the governors of the 
new institution wanted an immediate or violent change, 
but they desired freedom to meet the expressed wishes 
of the community. 

To this letter Mr. Vane replied on the 2ist April. 
He said it was satisfactory to the commission to find 
that their view relative to the contemplated opening of 
the college to female students did not substantially differ 
from those of the trustees and governors. That the 
commissioners were by no means disposed to look un- 
favourably upon that part of the proposed plan, provided 
sufficient safeguards were obtained for subordinating it 
in conformity with the stated intention of the trustees 
and governors to the primary object of the education of 
males, and for securing that it should be introduced at 
such time and manner, and to such an extent only, as 
might consist with the due observance of that primary 


object. But the sixth clause of the scheme, then 
submitted to the commissioners, did not in their judg- 
ment contain the requisite safeguards on those points. 1 
They considered that, in addition to the general declara- 
tion that the education of males should be regarded as 
the primary object of the institution, a provision should 
be inserted in the bill making the exercise of the 
power of opening the college to females conditional : 
First, upon the governing body having sufficient pecu- 
niary means at their disposal for effecting the extension 
of the scheme of education after making adequate pro- 
vision of all male students seeking for admission ; and, 
second, upon due arrangements being made for securing 
at all times the effectual separation of the students of 
the different sexes when attending for the purpose 
of instruction. In that case it would be satisfac- 
tory to the commissioners that the agreement which 
they were called upon to approve should be examined 
and settled by counsel to be named by them, regard 
being had to the views expressed in the present letter 
and to the provisions of the Act of Parliament under 
which the agreement is framed. The commissioners 
subsequently expressed their willingness to strike out 
the word "all" in the clause: "adequate provision for 

1 The sixth clause in the draft bill was as follows: "6. Without prejudice to 
the primary object of the Owens College, that is to say, the education of persons 
of the male sex, yet in consideration of the contribution by the extension college 
for the purposes of the united institution as it will exist under this agreement, of 
the large real and personal estate of the extension college, which will be specified 
in a schedule thereof, which is intended to be prepared and to be submitted with 
this agreement to the Charity Commissioners of England and Wales, and of the 
ample provision thereby made available for the accommodation of a greatly 
increased concourse of students, the Owens College shall not be bound to 
observe the restrictions imposed by the founder's will as to the sex of the students, 
and the Owens College shall be open to and available by any such young persons 
(subject to the provisions of this agreement respecting the age of students), as the 
proper authorities thereof may from time to time direct." 


the instruction of all male students seeking for admis- 
sion;" and the important words "at all times" in the 
sentence: "Upon due arrangements being made for 
securing at all times the effectual separation . 
when attending for the purposes of instruction." The 
counsel appointed was Mr. Lancelot Shad well, of Lin- 
coln's Inn. 

These proceedings were reported to the extension 
committee, who, at their meeting on 3rd May, assented 
to the suggested modifications, and instructed their 
solicitor to submit the agreement and a copy of the 
correspondence to Mr. Shad well for examination on 
behalf of the commissioners. Mr. Reilly was to confer 
with Mr. Shadwell if the latter required explanations. 

Mr. Shadwell reported on the i3th of May: The 
Charity Commissioners had already called attention to 
the difficulty arising out of the sixth clause of the 
agreement with respect to the admission of female 
students. Another difficulty arose in his mind on that 
clause, namely, whether local preference was to be 
binding in the case of female applicants for admission 
to the college, or even at all. These difficulties, he 
thought, might be met by the following provisions: 
i. The power of opening "The Owens College" (as 
defined by the first clause of the aforesaid agreement) 
to females shall be conditional : (a) " Upon the authori- 
ties of the said college having sufficient pecuniary means 
at their disposal for effecting such extension of the 
scheme of education of the said college after making 
adequate provision for the instruction of male applicants 
for admission:" and (6) "Upon due arrangements being 
made for securing the effectual separation of the students 
of the different sexes when attending for the purpose 
of instruction." 2. " Nothing in the aforesaid agree- 


ment or in this scheme shall be deemed to prejudice or 
interfere with the second fundamental rule and condition 
prescribed in the founder's will (as defined in the said 
first clause of the said agreement) for preference accord- 
ing to the place of residence of parents, and the said 
rule and condition shall be effectual and apply in the 
case of applicants, whether male or female, for admission 
to the college." Subject to the above conditions, he 
thought the agreement was consistent with a due regard 
to the intentions set forth in the founder's will, and 
generally might be approved of on the part of the 
Charity Commissioners. Unless the commissioners 
desired to reform the agreement so as to embody the 
matter in the provisions, he thought the additions might 
be conveniently inserted in the scheme ; and this he 
had done. 

Mr. Reilly, on behalf of the college, concurred in 
these recommendations in a conference with Mr. 
Shadwell. They were approved by the extension com- 
mittee, subject only to a strong objection on their part 
to the enactment, as regarded the funds in their hands, 
of the testator Owens's local preference in favour of the 
children of parents in Manchester or South Lanca- 
shire. Those funds had certainly been contributed 
without regard to any such restriction, and no such 
restriction was contemplated by the Act of 1870 under 
which they were administered. In practice it was 
scarcely possible to believe that the provision could be 
of any use, and such restrictive preferences were now 
generally looked upon with disfavour. The governors 
and trustees would alike be glad if the board should 
feel able to dispense with Mr. Shadwell's second 
additional proviso. 

Mr. Vane replied that looking to the provisions of 


the Act of Parliament by which the functions of the 
commissioners in the matter were prescribed and 
denned, the board were of opinion that they had no 
choice but to require that the second of the two funda- 
mental rules and conditions enjoined by the founder, 
namely, that relating to the local preference to be given 
to applicants, should be retained in the agreement to be 
approved by them. The commissioners were accord- 
ingly prepared to seal and report the scheme in the 
form in which it had been settled by Mr. Shad well. 

This letter was carefully considered by the authori- 
ties of the respective colleges, and on 25th May, Messrs. 
Ashton and Neild, on behalf of the extension com- 
mittee and of the trustees, replied, stating that "they 
regretted to learn the decision of the commissioners 
respecting the second of the two fundamental rules of 
the founder. The extension of the provision for local 
preference to the funds of the extension college," they 
said, " has never been contemplated and appears to be 
objectionable as a matter of principle, and it is certainly 
not provided for by the Act of 1870 (see section four) 
under which those funds are now administered." They, 
however, accepted the decision, subject only to the 
expression of objection which the commissioners had 
seen. On 28th May, 1871, Mr. Ashton received from the 
Charity Commissioners a duplicate copy of their report 
approving and certifying the scheme of amalgamation 
in the form settled by Mr. Shadwell on their behalf, 
and agreed to by the committees and the trustees. The 
commissioners had forwarded the original on 27th May 
to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, 
and the same had on the 2nd of June been laid before 
Parliament as prescribed by the Act of 1870. On 
examination it appeared that the report contained no 


reference to a suggestion made to Mr. Ashton in the 
commissioners' office, to the effect that it would be a 
desirable modification of the scheme if the property and 
effects of the original endowment and of the ancillary 
trusts could be vested at once in the governors of the 
extension college, rather than made the subject of sepa- 
rate assurances, a suggestion which Mr. Ashton had 
expected the commissioners would have introduced into 
their report. The commissioners were asked whether 
they could not, by recalling and reframing the report, 
or by a supplementary report, incorporate a suggestion ; 
but they stated that it was not within their powers to 
do this. 

Mr. Neild, as chairman of the council, was requested 
on June 7th to acknowledge, on behalf both of the council 
and the former trustees, the obligation of both the new 
and old institutions to the board of the Charity Com- 
mission for their courtesy, their attention, and their 
rapid despatch of the college business, as this had in 
all probability secured the important object of the con- 
firmation of the scheme for the amalgamation of the 
colleges during the current session of Parliament. 

On the same date Mr. Aston was instructed to pro- 
ceed with the preparation and passing of the Confirming 
Bill, and to consult with Mr. Reilly as to the possibility 
and propriety of introducing into the bill enacting the 
vesting in the extension college of the endowments 
original and ancillary of the Owens College; without 
prejudice, however, to the primary object of getting the 
confirmation of the scheme completed during the current 
session of Parliament. 

The bill passed through both Houses of Parliament, 
and received the royal assent on July 24th, 1871. 

The grateful thanks of the committee were voted to 


the Marquess of Ripon and to Mr. H. S. P. Winter- 
botham, M.P. (the Under Secretary for the Home 
Department), for their important services in the passage 
of the bill through Parliament. 

By the provisions of the bill the original Owens 
College was, from and after ist September, 1871, 
to become amalgamated with the Owens Extension 
College, and the Extension College was thenceforward 
to bear the name of THE OWENS COLLEGE. 




"Physicians would acquire the greatest expertness if, from their youth upwards, 
they not only studied their profession, but also came in contact with the greatest 
number of the worst cases, and had personal experience of every kind of malady." 
The Republic of Plato, p. 105. DAVIES and VAUGHAN'S Translation, 1868. 

T T has already been shown that an attempt was made 
* in the early days of the college 1 to unite the 
medical school with that institution. The consideration 
of the subject was resumed from time to time, and 
would probably have come to a successful issue much 
earlier but for the great straits in which the college was 
placed, and for the unequal conditions which the trustees 
thought were offered to them. The trustees, at their 
meeting on February ist, 1866, in considering the 
question of the objects and scope of the college, what 
it had effected and the advantages it had conferred, and 
the extensions which might be considered desirable, 
resolved: "That the principal and professors be re- 
quested to consider and report their opinion as to the 
expediency of including in, or connecting with, the 
college a medical school, and to state any particular 
advantages or disadvantages which, in their opinion, 
might attend such an extension." 

The subject was very fully considered at a college 
meeting held on the Qth of the same month. The 

1 See p. 149. 


meeting thought the best course to adopt was to state 
fairly, for the consideration of the trustees, all the 
leading arguments both for and against the proposed 
inclusion or connection of a medical school with Owens 
College. The arguments were considered seriatim by 
the professors, and they finally agreed to the following 
report : " That in the judgment of the professors, after 
a careful consideration of the arguments annexed, the 
reasons in favour of the proposed establishment of a 
medical school outweigh the reasons against its esta- 
blishment, provided that the opinions obtained from 
competent judges in answer to the queries suggested 
by the professors prove satisfactory to the trustees. 

" A. Reasons in favour of the proposed connection of 
medical school with .Owens College: 

" (a) By the addition of a medical school the course 
of education given in Owens College would be widely 
extended, and the college would be .strengthened by its 
connection with one of the most important branches of 
professional education, without some one or more of 
which no college or university in Europe seems at any 
time to have struck deep roots. [The changes recently 
introduced by the medical council in the regulations 
touching medical education require all medical students, 
before commencing their professional studies, to show a 
certain amount of knowledge in arts and science. Not 
a few intending medical students have of late years 
sought this preliminary training in the junior classes of 
Owens College. Again, aspirants to the medical degrees 
of the University of London are required to pass both 
the matriculation examinations and a further examina- 
tion of some severity in several branches of science, and 
in this latter examination students proceeding from 
Owens College have been conspicuously successful. 


Both these classes of students are obliged to leave us 
and proceed elsewhere for their professional training. 
It is but a small proportion, however, of the medical 
students of Manchester who seek the higher training 
which leads to medical degrees ; and it may fairly be 
assumed that, if a medical school were attached to the 
college, this number would gradually increase to the 
prosperity and reputation of Owens College. Further- 
more, it seems likely, and the experience of older 
colleges tends to show, that the introduction of a body 
of students, a considerable number of whom would 
have much energy and earnestness of purpose, would 
act most favourably on the arts students.] 

" (6) By such an addition the character of the medical 
education of the district would undoubtedly be raised. 
[It seems evident that a medical school under the direc- 
tions of an independent and public body such as the 
trustees of Owens College would stand higher with the 
public, and in scientific repute, than any merely private 
school can do, and that thus a much larger proportion 
of the higher class of medical students would be drawn 
to the Manchester school. We may also assume that 
the endowed professors in Owens College of those 
branches of science which are included in the medical 
curriculum, chosen as they are from among English 
men of science by open competition, will as a rule be 
men of higher scientific standing than teachers who are 
practically drawn from a narrower area. These subjects 
(chemistry and natural history, that is) are, it is true, 
but subsidiary in medical education ; and to give full 
force to this argument it would be absolutely necessary 
to endow one or two purely medical chairs, say those of 
anatomy and physiology, to be filled by men who would 
devote themselves to these duties as their main task. 


The other subjects might be left to be taught, as at 
present, by lecturers, whose remuneration would be 
derived solely from the fees.] 

" (c] The addition of a medical school would greatly 
strengthen our claims on Manchester and the neighbour- 
hood for liberal aid in the proposed scheme for erecting 
new college buildings. 

" B. Reasons against union: 

[" As these arguments were set before the meeting 
by Professor Williamson (who must be understood to 
dissent from the conclusion of a majority of the meeting), 
to whose opinion, from his professional familiarity with 
the subject, great weight will be deservedly attached, 
the professors have thought it right to lay these argu- 
ments before the trustees in the form in which Pro- 
fessor Williamson put them, with their own comments 
attached."] The following is a summary of the objec- 
tions : 

(a) The derangement of the existing sessional arrange- 

(6) The difference in age of medical and arts students ; 
the superior hospital teaching of the London schools, 
which would draw away the best men ; the lower moral 
tone of provincial students compared with those of the 
metropolis, and the effect of this on the arts classes. 

(c) Professor Williamson feared there would be a 
difficulty in securing the best teaching talent, as the 
leading medical men were so fully occupied with their 
private practice. 

(d) The advantages derived from the medical chairs 
were not calculated to draw able men from a distance. 

(e) Reviewed the financial difficulties which were 
likely to fall upon the college by amalgamation. 

(f) Referred to the risk of union being followed by 


the establishment of a second medical school in the 
immediate neighbourhood of the infirmary. 

" This would almost certainly be done, as the Marsden 
Street school for years competed with Pine Street, and 
at a later date Chatham, Street school not only competed 
but forced an amalgamation. The union with the 
college would necessarily displace some of the lecturers 
of the school. These would naturally seek a new field 
for their labours. They would find others ready to co- 
operate, and immediate proximity to the infirmary would 
give them an advantage over the college. Medical 
students cared little about the quality of the lectures, 
provided they obtained the necessary certificates. What 
they mainly trusted to was the hospital teaching, in 
which plan they were encouraged by the best men, as 
might be seen in the recent Autobiography of Sir 
B. Brodie." 

(g) The danger of discords arising from the introduc- 
tion of an unendowed faculty into the midst of endowed 

" Though such a union might work smoothly at first, 
in time a jealous sense of inequality and injustice would 
be likely to spring up, leading to agitation and disturb- 
ance of the existing harmony. The endowment of 
medical chairs by private benevolence is, it is to be 
feared, hopeless. The public takes small interest in 
medical schools. It regards them as things that merely 
concern the doctors." 

On the above paper, read by Professor Williamson, 
the following comments were offered by the professors 
present : 

a. They thought the contemplated disorganisation of 
the existing sessional arrangements might be easily met. 

b. The majority of the professors believed that, what- 



ever force there might be in this objection, the steadily 
advancing improvement of English medical students, 
owing to the influence of the new medical council, was 
rapidly removing it. If, however, the existence of the 
evil could be substantiated, it would, in their opinion, be 
counteracted by the introduction of a vigorous collegiate 
discipline, and by a separation between the general and 
medical departments. The professors, recognising the 
weight attaching to this question, earnestly recom- 
mended that inquiry should be made by the trustees of 
competent judges. 

c and d. The majority of professors believed that, 
though there was force in these objections, the selection 
of the teachers by the trustees would tend to obviate 
their force; and that, further, it might be met by using 
the title of Lecturers, if thought advisable, for the unen- 
dowed teachers. 

e. The question raised here seemed to the professors 
to be one wholly for the trustees. 

f. Such an attempt would probably be made ; but the 
majority of professors were of opinion that it would soon 
come to nothing. As, however, Professor Williamson 
thought that an inferior rival school established near the 
infirmary would succeed in carrying off a majority of 
the students, the professors earnestly recommended that 
the trustees should carefully consult, on the question, 
competent witnesses both in and out of the medical 

g. This also seemed to the professors to be a question 
for the trustees rather than for themselves. 

On the 1 4th December, 1866, the principal, with 
Professors Roscoe and Jack, presented a report to the 
college meeting, which, when adopted, was to be laid 
before the trustees, on the contemplated enlargement of 


the college. Clause vi. stated: "In our judgment it 
would be of great advantage to the college to attach to 
it an efficient medical school. It would not, however, 
we believe, be desirable to do so, unless due facilities 
could be secured in connection with the infirmary for 
the efficient clinical instruction of the students. We 
offer this opinion to the trustees under the impression 
that the present authorities of the Manchester Royal 
School of Medicine are willing to agree to arrange- 
ments by which the proposed medical school in con- 
nection with Owens College should be amalgamated 
with the Royal School of Medicine. We have already 
stated our opinion 1 that it would be necessary to set 
aside a considerable sum of money for the endowment 
of one or more chairs." These recommendations were 
left in abeyance for several years. 

The subject was taken up by the executive committee 
in the spring of 1870, and Principal Greenwood pre- 
pared a plan for the absorption of the school. Consul- 
tation was held with Mr. Southam ; a sub-committee, 
consisting of Messrs. Ashton, Neild, Roscoe, Green- 
wood, and Johnson, was formed, and on 3oth November, 
1870, they were able to present a report to the extension 
committee, and a draft circular containing proposals for 
the incorporation of the Royal School of Medicine with 
the college. Authority was given to the sub-committee 
to open a negociation with the medical authorities to 
this end. The report stated that the extension com- 
mittee had from the first contemplated the addition of a 
medical faculty to the existing departments of the col- 
lege. The sub-committee had visited London and other 
places for advice, and the high authorities consulted 

1 In the report of February, 1866. 


were unanimously of opinion that Owens College would 
confer a very great good on medical education in Man- 
chester by attaching to itself a medical school, and that 
in these four ways : (a) The purely scientific (i.e., non- 
medical) portions of the training of medical students 
would be better supplied in an arts college than in an 
exclusively medical school. (6) A stricter collegiate 
discipline than is usual, or apparently practicable, in a 
purely medical school, would be brought to bear on the 
students to their great advantage, (c) Contact with 
students in arts would tend to raise the standard of 
general education among the medical students, and 
many successful students in arts would probably be 
induced to enter the medical profession, (d] It was 
stated that in certain important respects the medical 
education of provincial schools was generally admitted 
to be inferior to that of the larger London schools, and 
that not only owing to the comparatively narrow choice 
of teachers, but also from the want of a vigorous organi- 
sation by which more method and stability would be 
imparted to the school. No remedy would be so effec- 
tual for this defect as union with an arts college. The 
election of the lecturers by a board of lay governors 
would give dignity and status to the offices, and the 
introduction of the well-understood discipline of a college 
could scarcely fail at once to lessen, and ultimately to 
remove, the irregularity of attendance at classes and 
other kindred defects, to which must be ascribed much 
of the inferiority referred to. 

"Several most experienced informants," the report 
stated, " were of opinion that the unmethodical and 
fragmentary character of the training in the country 
hospitals might be gradually changed by enlightened 
and considerate cooperation between the government of 


the hospitals and the schools. Many country hospitals, 
it was stated, and the Manchester Infirmary was speci- 
fied by name, possessed great advantages, and were in 
some respects superior to the London hospitals in the 
opportunities they furnished to the students of seeing 
varied practice." The report fully recognised the great 
importance of obtaining the concurrence of the Royal 
Infirmary board to the scheme, and it stated that a 
majority of the authorities of the Royal School of 
Medicine were favourable to it. The teaching staff 
would be taken over, and some of them would have a 
seat in the senate ; the department would in all respects 
be subject to the ordinary regulations of the college, 
and the same discipline would be extended to all 
students alike. To secure the efficiency of the school 
it would be necessary to endow one or more chairs 
say of anatomy and physiology to be filled by men 
who would devote themselves to these studies as their 
main task. The success or otherwise of the scheme 
depended principally upon the action that would be 
taken by the authorities of the Royal Infirmary; it was, 
therefore, most satisfactory to learn from the sub-com- 
mittee that, in an interview they had held with Mr. Hugh 
Birley, M.P. (the chairman), Messrs. H. P. Ree and 
Hodgson, and with Dr. Reed, to consider the proposed 
incorporation of the Royal School of Medicine, an 
assurance was given that all that they could do to assist 
the project should be done, and that so soon as a 
definite scheme was prepared it should be submitted to 
the medical staff of the infirmary. The deputation also 
learned that although in consequence of the varying 
elements of the weekly board the government of the 
institution was somewhat irregular, yet that the decisions 
of the annual meeting were always trustworthy, and 


that the infirmary board could give an undertaking 
under seal to carry out any approved arrangement. 

Progress was made : the council of the college on 
7th December, 1870, approved the terms suggested as 
a basis of treaty for the incorporation of the medical 
school with the college, and the committee were 
authorised to proceed with the matter. 

A few months later a most important offer of assist- 
ance was made, which hastened the amalgamation 
scheme. In April, 1871, Mr. Edward Lewis, a gentle- 
man then retired from practice, but formerly a partner in 
the firm of solicitors in Manchester of which Mr. 
Brackenbury had been a member, announced that Miss 
Brackenbury, then residing at Brighton, and daughter 
of the gentleman above named, had expressed to him 
her intentions of giving ; 10,000 as a donation to the 
funds for the extension of Owens College, subject to 
a specific dedication of the money towards the esta- 
blishment and support of a medical department in 
connection with the college. ,5,000 of this amount 
was to be devoted to the erection of suitable buildings, 
and ,5,000 to the endowment of the medical school. 
Furthermore, Miss Brackenbury was prepared to pay 
the money to the college on receiving satisfactory 
assurances: (i) That the establishment of a medical 
school in connection with the college was a matter in 
which gentlemen of the medical profession in Man- 
chester took an interest, and of which they approved ; 
and (2) That the objects of the gift would be effectually 
secured. This noble offer was, of course, gratefully 
accepted, and Messrs. Ashton, Neild, and Greenwood 
were requested to confer with the medical gentlemen 
with whom the college was then in communication, with 
regard to the proposed annexation of the Manchester 


Royal School of Medicine to the college, with a view 
to obtaining from them an assurance on the first point 
above specified. The following medical men ex- 
pressed in writing their cordial approval of the scheme 
for establishing a medical department in connection 
with the college : Sir James L. Bardsley, Dr. Morgan, 
Messrs. Turner, Southam, William Roberts, William 
Smith, and Edward Lund. Their letters were sent 
to Mr. Lewis, who, in acknowledging their receipt, 
requested that no time should be lost in preparing a 
deed of trust. The committee was reappointed to 
conduct negociations with the authorities of the school 
of medicine with a view to the amalgamation of the 
school with the college. 

The council was able to report to the court, at its 
meeting, March 28th, 1872, that terms of a satisfactory 
nature had been arranged for the incorporation of the 
Manchester Royal School of Medicine with the college. 
Some details of the scheme were still being worked 
out. The council was also in correspondence with the 
authorities of some of the leading medical schools in 
the United Kingdom, and with Mr. Waterhouse, in 
preparation for the erection upon a portion of the 
Oxford Road site of additional suitable buildings, to be 
appropriated for the use of the medical professors 
and students. In the meantime it hoped, with the 
cooperation of the gentlemen who had hitherto con- 
ducted the classes of the school at Pine Street, to 
continue to carry on the school at that place. Situated 
in close proximity to the Royal Infirmary, the premises 
made it desirable for the college to continue to carry on 
for the time being a portion of the medical instruction 
there. The council had contracted with the actual 
lessees, Messrs. Turner and Southam, for the purchase 


of their proprietary interests in the property and in the 
school. It included the transfer of ^600 vested in 
consols, which would be held by way of endowment, 
the income to be applied for the encouragement of 
students in the medical department of the college, under 
the name of the " Turner Medical Prizes." The court 
formally approved of the steps taken by the council. 


The sudden and rapid increase of Manchester at the 
close of last century stimulated a great deal of intellec- 
tual activity. It has already been shown 1 that some of 
the gentlemen who founded the Manchester Literary 
and Philosophical Society interested themselves in the 
establishment of a scientific college, at which lectures 
on anatomy were given by Mr. Charles White, F.R.S., 
a member of the Royal College of Surgeons. It is 
said that the Lying-in Hospital was founded in 1 790 
by his influence, and that the Manchester Infirmary 
owes its position to him. 2 He was an enthusiast in 
surgery. Dr. White, Dr. Roget, and Mr. Gibson are 
also said to have lectured. 3 These lectures, valuable as 
they were in the sense of being the prolusions of expe- 
rienced men, were of little educational value, inasmuch 
as they were sporadic and unconnected with any regular 
course of study. Mr. Jordan commenced an anatomical 
school in 1814. He was an able anatomist and enthu- 
siastic in his profession. His work was so thorough that 
his certificates were accepted in 1817, by the Royal Col- 
lege of Surgeons, London. It is, however, generally 
admitted that Mr. Thomas Turner is entitled to the 

1 See page 8. 

2 Dr. Angus Smith: A Centenary of Science in Manchester, p. 151. 
s Wheeler's Manchester, p. 422. 


honour of having established the first really equipped 
medical school in Manchester. In his youthful days 
the state of medical education was very defective. It 
was given in evidence before a committee of the House 
of Commons that in 1823, when provincial schools did 
not exist, the curriculum of medical education was 
extremely imperfect, and a writer of that date, quoted 
by Mr. Turner, said: 1 "It must strike the mind of 
every enlightened individual who takes a survey of the 
present state of the medical profession in this country, 
that whilst there are to be found in it some who, by 
their talents and intellectual attainments, reflect credit 
on themselves and the profession to which they belong, 
at the same time the large mass of its members is 
deplorably ignorant ; and this we feel assured may in 
the majority of instances be traced to the defective 
education they have had the misfortune to receive." In 
confirmation of this may be adduced the evidence of 
Professor Huxley. 2 " I don't know anything which 
strikes me more forcibly," he said, "than the progress 
which medical knowledge has made during the last 
thirty or forty years . . . it is something astounding, 
something unparalleled in the history of science, to know 
what progress has been made since that time. I happened 
to take up to-day the syllabus of your sessional work, 
and I turned not unnaturally to the class of practical 
physiology and histology. . . . When I began my 
medical studies thirty years ago there was no one at 
that time, certainly in London, and I could go further 
and say there was nobody in the world, who could have 
given you this course of instruction. That sort of 
teaching was not even anticipated ; we had not the 

1 Memoirs of Thomas Turner, 1875, P- IO - 
2 Speech at the Opening of the Medical School at Owens College, October, 1874. 


instruments which are requisite to carry it out. The 
whole course of medical study since that time has been 
completely changed, in the first place through the dis- 
coveries made by the use of the microscope, and in the 
second place by the wonderful application of delicate 
physical instruments in the elucidation of the mechanism 
of the body, which is of the very essence of our modern 
physiology. At that time organic chemistry was hardly 
in existence. It is the recognition of the fact that the 
study of life is essentially a question of applied physics 
in chemistry that has changed the whole course of our 
medical studies. It is that which makes this elaborate 
apparatus necessary. It is that which makes it needful 
before all things that you who commence your medical 
studies should come provided, at any rate, with the 
elements of physics and chemistry as your foundation." 
In 1820, Mr. Turner made a tour in Scotland, with 
the special intention of visiting the Medical School of 
Edinburgh. He thought it would become a source of 
vexation to him if he settled in practice without seeing 
the great northern school ; the more so as he had 
already visited the principal schools of Europe. It was 
a wise beginning, and was shortly afterwards turned to 
good account. He spent much time in the autumn of 
1822 in completing his book, An Epitome of Anatomy 
and Physiology \ in their application to Medicine and 
Surgery. This led to his taking the field as a lecturer. 
He delivered a course of seventy lectures at the rooms 
of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society 
on " The Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology of the 
Human Body." His audience was over sixty persons. 
The lectures extended from November ist, 1822, to 
March i7th, 1823. Mr. Ransome and Mr. Ainsworth 
lent specimens. 


On July 1 6th following, a dinner was given to Mr. 
Turner at the Albion Hotel by the gentlemen who had 
attended the lectures. Dr. Hardy presided, and Mr. 
F. R. Ainsworth was vice-president. " An elegant 
antique gold vase, richly chased, and of a perfectly 
unique design, was presented to Mr. Turner," by the 
members who attended the first course of lectures, "as 
a sincere though inadequate testimony of the respect 
they entertain for his talent and industry as a public 
lecturer, and of their regard for him as a man." 

Other courses of lectures followed; and in 1824" Mr. 
Turner delivered an address to a large audience, in which 
he developed a plan formed by him for the establishment 
of a preparatory school of medicine and surgery in 
Manchester; experience having taught him that the 
only way in which existing deficiencies in early medical 
training could be remedied would be to organise such 
schools in the provinces. The proposal was satisfactory 
to the audience, and Mr. Turner was encouraged to put 
his plan into action. In October he engaged and 
opened a suitable building in Pine Street, off York 
Street. The school was thoroughly organised in 1825, 
and the chairs were : anatomy, Mr. Turner ; materia 
medica, Dr. J. L. Bardsley; surgery, Mr. Ransome; 
chemistry, Mr. [Dr.] Dalton; midwifery, Mr. Kinder 
Wood; botany, Mr. Thomson. Mr. Turner acted as 
demonstrator of anatomy for two years, when his place 
was taken by Mr. Guest and Mr. Joseph Ransome. 
Mr. Oilier was appointed to the chair of medical juris- 
prudence, and Mr. Hunt to that on the anatomy, 
physiology, and pathology of the eye, in 1833. The 
Manchester school was the first school established in 

1 Memoir, p. 83. 


the provinces, and in consideration of this circumstance, 
and of its excellent equipment, it was permitted in 
March, 1836, to attach the prefix of "Royal." Man- 
chester was very favourably situated for a medical 
school. It had its infirmary for accidents; its house of 
recovery or fever hospital, which was intended to "melio- 
rate the condition of the poor, to prevent the generation 
of diseases, to obviate the propagation of them by con- 
tagion, and to mitigate those which exist by providing 
comforts and accommodation for the sick;" 1 its lying-in 
hospital ; its lunatic asylum ; its eye institution ; and its 
lock hospital. Owing to the extent and variety of its 
manufactories and workshops, to its overcrowding, and 
to other causes, there were numerous accidents, and 
many cases of disease, which demanded the skill and 
care of the medical men. But there was much to 
contend with. Although its hospitals could boast of 
possessing beds for two hundred patients, the medical 
school did not obtain privileges which were enjoyed by 
some of the London hospitals which did Jiot contain 
fifty beds. There was an unjust restriction placed upon 
the students of the Manchester Medical School in their 
attendance on the surgical practice at the Royal Infir- 
mary by the council of the College of Surgeons in 
London, for they did not obtain certificates of atten- 
dance. Remonstrances were made in vain. Meanwhile, 
Mr. Turner obtained a concession from Edinburgh. 
Addressing the president and officers of the Royal 
College of Surgeons in that city on January 9th, 1825, 
he pointed out that the Manchester Infirmary had many 
more cases in one year than either St. Bartholomew's 
Hospital or St. Thomas's Hospital, London, and he 

1 A Short History of the Home of Recovery, p. 8, by Dr. Frank Renaud, F.S.A., etc. 


requested that the certificates of the Pine Street school 
might be received by the court of examiners of their 
college, as entitling the student to the same privileges 
as the certificates granted by the London lecturers. 

The President (Dr. Hay) replied to Mr. Turner on 
March yth following, and said: "The college have 
agreed that your own lectures, as being of nearly six 
months' duration, shall be received as a course of 
anatomy, qualifying for their diploma ; and in like 
manner that attendance for twelve months at the hos- 
pital at Manchester, with three months of clinical 
lectures on the surgical cases, given by a fellow of one 
of the established colleges, shall qualify for examination ; 
but they are unwilling to extend this privilege further 
until they shall be informed of the exact nature and 
extent of the lectures of the other teachers of medicine 
in Manchester." Dr. Hay intimated that if the lectures 
of the "other teachers" were equal to Mr. Turner's, 
there would be no difficulty in obtaining the full recog- 
nition of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. 

The Company of Apothecaries, London, consented to 
receive the certificates of lectures and of attendance at 
the infirmary and other medical institutions. This was 
of great value, as every student had to undergo an 
examination at Apothecaries' Hall before he could begin 
to practice. There was more difficulty in obtaining the 
recognition of the Royal College of Surgeons, London, 
they having passed a bye-law that no certificates could 
be received excepting from certain lecturers in London ; 
but as Mr. Turner had been a lecturer before this bye-law 
was passed, and as he was a member of their college, 
they promised to consider his certificates as highly 
respectable ! 

In 1827, and largely through Sir Astley Cooper's 


instrumentality, the various impediments were all swept 
away, and there was a full recognition by the College 
of Surgeons of all the certificates of the various lecturers 
of the Pine Street school. 1 Mr. Turner was anxious, 
as far as possible, to prepare his students so thoroughly 
that their time in London might be saved. " Some 
country surgeons," he said, 2 " adopt the plan of sending 
their pupils to London the third or fourth winter, with 
a bond fide agreement that the time thus spent shall be 
exclusive of the term of apprenticeship ; but it is to be 
hoped that the necessity of a departure to such a dis- 
tance from home will soon cease to be necessary, and 
that the pupils of Lancashire and the adjoining counties 
will have the means of improvement very near at hand." 
Shortly after the opening of the Pine Street school, 
Mr. Jordan determined to open a second school. He 
selected a plot of land, which is now covered by the 
Scottish Widows' offices, at the corner of Mount Street 
and Albert Square. The building was of some preten- 
sions: two-storied, with two windows on each side the 
entrance and five windows above; it was four windows 
in depth. It had a large and admirably arranged dis- 
secting room, and was roofed with glass. 3 The lecturers 
were: 4 Mr. Jordan, anatomy; Dr. Freckleton, the prac- 
tice of medicine and materia medica ; Mr. Davies, 
chemistry ; Mr. Radford, midwifery ; Mr. Fawdington 
and Mr. Boutflower, surgery; Mr. Blundstone and Dr. 
Pritchard Hulme, anatomical demonstrations. Changes 
soon took place. Dr. Freckleton was succeeded by Dr. 
Shaw, and Messrs. Jeffs and Stephens became anatomical 
demonstrators. The school was opened in 1827, but 

^Memoir, p. 97. * Memoir, p. 105. 

3 Information of James Stephens, Esq., F.R.C.S. L. and E. 

4 Wheeler's Manchester^ p. 422. 


after three sessions several of the lecturers resigned, 
and in 1834 it was closed. A public dinner, attended 
by some two hundred guests, was given to Mr. 
Jordan on his retirement from the anatomical school. 
A handsome service of plate was presented to him. 
Mr. Jordan was described by Mr. Turner as "one of 
the most distinguished anatomists Manchester had 
ever produced," and it was added that he had retired 

The secession of Mr. Jordan's lecturers was followed 
by the opening of a third school, namely that in Mars- 
den Street. It had for its lecturers Mr. Fawdington, 
anatomy, physiology, and pathology; Dr. Pendlebury, 
physic and materia medica ; Mr. Boutflower, surgery ; 
Mr. Roberton and Mr. Windsor, midwifery and the 
diseases of women and children ; Mr. John Leigh, 
chemistry; Mr. Boutflower and Mr. Roberton, medical 
jurisprudence ; Dr. Hardy, botany ; Mr. Walker, 
anatomy, etc., of the eye. There were museums both 
of natural and morbid structure and libraries open to 
the students. This school, which started so well, had 
but a brief existence ; it was closed in 1 840. 

It has been stated 1 that an attempt was made to esta- 
blish a college at Manchester in 1836, and that it failed 
mainly through the difficulty of bringing the two medical 
schools into harmony. It was essentially dependent 
upon this union for success. Mr. Davies, the lecturer 
on chemistry at Pine Street, was the honorary secretary 
of the movement, and an advertisement stated that 
"with the lecturers of the Royal School of Medicine 
and Surgery the proposal originated, and by them the 
the projected college was named and systematised." 

1 See chapter i. 


Mr. Turner was the prime mover in it. In its pro- 
spectus it stated: 1 i. That much having been done to 
promote the education of the working and middle classes, 
"it becomes highly necessary that some measures should 
be taken without further delay, on the part of the upper 
classes, to secure for themselves and the rising genera- 
tion the means of intellectual improvement, relatively 
to the sphere in which they move ; equivalent, at least, 
to those which have been enjoyed for some time by 
the other departments of the community." 2. It had 
become necessary to establish in the town a college to 
be called Manchester College. 3. Recent changes in 
London had rendered a better early education indis- 
pensable to the medical student; "and as experience 
has shown that the medical department has afforded 
the most efficient and regular support of the Universities 
of London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dublin, 
and those on the continent, it is presumed that the 
reputation which the Manchester Royal School of Medi- 
cine and Surgery has acquired, justifies an expectation 
that it might constitute the basis of the proposed esta- 
blishment." 4. The institution was to include the means 
of instruction in literature as well as in medical, legal, 
and general science. 5. To conciliate the public there 
were to be no lectures which had a direct tendency to 
excite party feeling. 

The first meeting of the committee was held Novem- 
ber loth, 1836, wlren Mr. Turner, after showing the 
importance of the Medical Schools to existing univer- 
sities in Great Britain and abroad, stated that he was 
empowered by his colleagues in the Royal School of 
Medicine to offer their assistance in establishing such 

1 The information respecting this movement is taken from, the minute book and 
other papers of the college committee; 


a college, to which they were willing to transfer their 
museums, subject to certain restrictions which would be 
explained hereafter. The meeting resolved that it was 
strongly impressed with the importance and necessity of 
establishing at that time in Manchester a college for 
general education. And, later, they added that it was 
essential that a medical department should form a con- 
stituent element in the college, although the committee 
were not then prepared to determine a basis on which 
such department should be formed. 

On February I3th, 1837, the sub-committee appointed 
to arrange a medical faculty for the college (of which 
Dr. Henry was chairman) resolved to communicate 
with the two existing medical schools, namely, those 
of Pine Street and Marsden Street ; and to intimate 
to them that the sub-committee would be happy to 
receive any communications they might be disposed 
to make in reference to the important matter, with a 
view to adopt such an arrangement as would most 
effectually promote the object in view and the interests 
of the public. 

Mr. J. E. Partington wrote on February i5th to say 
that the Pine Street school would concur in any 
arrangement to which Dr. Bardsley, Mr. Turner, and 
Mr. Davies might accede. The Marsden Street lecturers 
wrote on the same date to say that the following 
resolutions had been adopted, i . That it was advisable 
that a medical faculty should form an integral part of 
the proposed college. 2. That for the present interests 
of the college it was expedient that the chairs of such 
medical faculty should be filled by resident physicians 
and surgeons. 3. That it would further conduce to 
the interests of the college if the existing medical 
schools were amalgamated, so as to form one efficient 


body of teachers, who should constitute the medical 
faculty. 4. That such an arrangement might be easily 
effected if the subject were approached in a fair, liberal, 
and mutually accommodating spirit. 5. Suggested the 
meeting of a deputation from each of the schools to 
settle the terms of agreement. 6. The undersigned 
expressed their perfect willingness to cooperate with 
the objects of the promoters of the college. Signed 
by John Pendlebury, M.D., John Windsor, Robert 
Hardy, M.D., John Leigh, John Roberton, Thomas 
Fawdington, John Walker, John Boutflower. 

The sub-committee received these communications 
and adjourned from time to time for the project to be 
considered by all parties ; meanwhile there were inter- 
views between delegates of the rival schools. Marsden 
Street sent a proposal for the allotment of subjects 
among the lecturers of both schools ; Pine Street 
replied that a union between the two schools presented 
great difficulties, and would be hardly possible, but their 
lecturers were disposed to cooperate with the committee 
in forming a college -for general education, leaving the 
schools of medicine in their present position ; or that 
the schools should be connected with the college as 
distinct bodies, so far as the internal management of the 
two institutions was concerned. 

This state of deadlock was serious, and the sub-com- 
mittee resolved to consider the case by themselves and 
without the presence of members of either school. Dr. 
Henry drew up a proposal which he thought would 
solve all difficulties, and give a mode of action. If 
there was a little mutual concession there might be 
established a united and strong medical school. He 
testified to the willingness of the lecturers " to make 
cheerfully such reasonable compliances." The report 


states that : "In the four classes which, as constituting 
the basis of all medical and surgical education, may 
clearly be pronounced most essential and important, 
they have experienced little difficulty in framing an 
arrangement that has appeared to be satisfactory to the 
gentlemen now teaching those branches in the two 
institutions. Thus the liberal spirit in which Dr. 
Pendlebury has met the wishes of the sub-committee 
has enabled them to propose : " i. That the chair of the 
principles and practice of medicine shall be filled by Dr. 
J. L. Bardsley : 2. While the institutes of medicine 
with therapeutics and materia medica will be taught 
by Dr. Pendlebury. 3. It is further proposed that 
anatomy and physiology shall be taught by Mr. Turner 
and Mr. Fawdington, according to a system of distri- 
bution to be determined by those gentlemen. 4. The 
chair of surgery it is conceived may be conveniently 
divided into : general surgical pathology by Mr. Bout- 
flower, and operative surgery by Mr. Ransome. 5. 
The department of medical chemistry they conceive 
may be still taught by Mr. Davies and Mr. Leigh, Mr. 
Davies continuing as before to lecture mainly on general 
and inorganic chemistry, and Mr. Leigh occupying the 
topics of organic and medical chemistry. 6. Medical 
jurisprudence, Mr. Oilier. 7. Botany, Dr. Hardy. 
8. On the subjects of midwifery, and 9, ophthalmic 
surgery, the sub-committee are unable at present to 
propose any more permanent arrangement than the 
co-existence of distinct and independent courses of 
lectures by the gentlemen now handling those branches 
of medical science in the two schools." 

The report was read and adopted 26th June, 1837, 
and it was resolved that copies of it be sent to Mr. 
Turner and Mr. Fawdington for the consideration of 


the respective schools. 1 Mr. Langton to summon the 
committee when replies were sent in. 

Mr. Fawdington replied on behalf of the Marsden 
Street school, and said that the definite allotment of 
the chairs was perfectly satisfactory to him and his 
colleagues, but they were at a loss to understand why 
there should be any difficulty in the settlement of the 
chairs for midwifery and ophthalmic surgery. 

Mr. Turner replied at length, stating that he and his 
colleagues were unwilling to offer any decided opposition 
to the proposals of the sub-committee to form a medical 
faculty out of the existing schools in the town yet / 
And then follow a great many " yets" and " buts," which 
show that there was very little spirit of compromise in 
the Pine Street school. The rejoinder is too long to 
produce, and it is now impossible to tell whether there 
were any secret reasons at work, but to the on-looker 
of to-day it would appear that the lecturers at Pine 
Street, regarding themselves as having been much 
longer in the field than the rival establishment, looked 
upon the lecturers as interlopers whose duty it was to 
make way for their betters. Not content with appro- 
priating most of the chairs they say: "After repeated 
consultations on the outline of a plan for incorporating 
' the two schools,' submitted to them by the sub-corn 
mittee, the Pine Street lecturers have, in order to meet, 
as far as possible, the wishes of the sub-committee, 
decided upon the following terms of such an arrange 
ment, to come into operation when the college shall have 
been established'" 2 And then followed their demands. 

1 Older medical readers may be interested to know the names of the sub-com- 
mittee who desired to bring about this peaceful arrangement. They are: Dr. 
Henry (in the chair), Mr. James Hey wood, Dr. Phillips, Rev. J. J. Tayler, Mr. 
S. D. Darbishire, and Mr. William Langton. 

2 The italics are theirs. 


This communication was not received by the chairman 
till August 23rd, and at a meeting of the sub-committee 
held August 3Oth, Mr. Langton reported that the 
course of lectures for the ensuing session had been 
advertised by the Marsden Street school, and that 
Dr. Bardsley and Mr. Turner had called upon him to 
intimate that unless an incorporation of the two schools 
with the projected college could be accomplished before 
October, it would be necessary for them to advertise in 
the papers the course of the Pine Street school, and to 
fill up certain vacancies in their establishment. Mr. 
Langton further stated that he had promised to com- 
municate to Mr. Turner any opinion expressed by the 
committee in reference to the possibility of accomplishing 
the plan suggested by them during the present year. 
It was resolved: "That the lateness of the season 
precludes the possibility of effecting any arrangement 
by which medical instruction could be afforded during 
the ensuing session by the incorporation of the two 
medical schools with the contemplated collegiate foun- 
dation." Resolved: "That the possibility of accom- 
plishing the plan suggested in the report of the sub- 
committee appears to be rendered very problematical 
by the opinion so decidedly expressed in the reply of 
the lecturers of the Pine Street school that the estab- 
lishment of a college for general education, leaving the 
schools of medicine in their present position, would be 
most conducive to the prosperity of the college and the 
welfare of the medical department." Resolved: "That 
the special sub-committee in presenting a minute of the 
proceedings to a general meeting beg to express their 
opinion that the consideration of the principle upon which 
the medical faculty shall be established be postponed for 
the present." And so it was for nearly forty years! 


Mr. Langton, on behalf of the sub-committee, wrote 
to Mr. Turner to announce the decision arrived at by 
the sub-committee, and plainly stated " their conviction 
of the improbability of effecting such an arrangement 
as they had contemplated, mainly arising from the want 
of a coincidence with their views on the part of the 
lecturers of Pine Street." 

The opportunity was lost ; in little more than two 
years the Marsden Street school was broken up, and 
the projected college, which languished for two or three 
years, melted away. 

The Pine Street school remained sole possessor 
of the field till 1850, when Mr. Southam, Dr. Watts, 
and Mr. Dumville established a medical school in 
Chatham Street, Piccadilly. They were supported by 
several of the former lecturers at Marsden Street. This 
school continued till 1858, when it was amalgamated 
with the Royal School of Medicine. Mr. Turner lived 
to see the union of the school which he had founded 
with Owens College, and Mr. Southam became one of 
its professors. 

Mr. Turner deserves great credit for the efforts he 
made to raise medical education in Manchester to a 
level of the metropolitan schools. He would have 
rejoiced had he lived to see the day when the new and 
well-equipped medical school practically conferred its 
own degrees. 



" The historian, as well as the natural philosopher, must suppose at some time 
or other an absolute beginning, and creation out of nothing; but what each can 
trace, and what forms the science of each is a series of changes, in which the 
older condition of things always furnishes the material for the newer." Rev. 
JOHN KENRICK, M.A., On the Probable Origin of Modern Corporations, p. 37. 

HPHE first meeting of the council, under the new 
constitution of the college, was held on Wednes- 
day, 26th October, 1870. It was announced that Miss 
Brackenbury had given two sums of ^500, to be applied 
respectively to the endowment of the chairs of geology 
and law. The registrar was instructed to bind the 
schedule of deeds as the commencement of a register 
of muniments, and to have copied into the same volume 
every deed to which the college is a party. The con- 
veyance, dated September 3rd, 1870, from Mr. Thomas 
Ashton to the college, of divers freehold parcels of land 
in Chorlton-on-Medlock, was presented for sealing, and 
the seal was accordingly attached to the deed of con- 
veyance of the plot of land upon which the college was 
to be built. 

On the 7th December, it was resolved to establish a 
department of geology, including mineralogy and prac- 
tical mining, and the extension committee was authorised 
to proceed with the appeal for funds. This subject had 
to wait, although a good beginning had been made. 
The president had subscribed ,1,000 and Mr. Ashton 


a similar amount. By the Owens College (Manchester) 
Act, 1871, it was provided that the original Owens 
College should, from and after the ist September, 1871, 
become amalgamated with the Owens Extension Col- 
lege, and that the Extension College should thencefor- 
ward bear the name of THE OWENS COLLEGE. 

The first meeting of the council of the amalgamated 
colleges was held at the Royal Institution, September 
6th, 1871, when Mr. John Partington Aston, the solicitor 
of Owens College from its commencement, was requested 
to act as solicitor to the Owens College. 

In accordance with the terms of the Act, notices from 
the trustees determining the engagements of professors, 
lecturers, teachers, and officials, were laid before the 
meeting. It was resolved that the notices be forwarded 
to the professors and others referred to, accompanied 
with an invitation to them to continue their services on 
the terms stated in the twenty-fifth article of the agree- 
ment for amalgamation. 

Messrs. Neild, Ashton, Darbishire, and Thompson 
were appointed a committee to carry out the above 
resolutions ; and to cooperate with the trustees in 
effecting the transfer of the funds, etc., of the original 
college to the amalgamated college : Also to consider 
the accounts up to the time of amalgamation as sub- 
mitted by the trustees, and the suggestion made by 
them as to the time of making up the annual accounts, 
and to report to the council. 

The solicitor was requested to prepare, under the 
direction of the committee, draft deeds and instruments 
of transfer, and of indemnity, and was empowered to 
employ counsel. 

The same committee, with Messrs. Christie and 
Greenwood added, were authorised to communicate 


with the associates, and to suggest a mode for their 
electing three governors according to the provisions of 
the Act, pending the adoption of bye-laws for a future 
mode of proceeding. 

Mr. Ashton reported on behalf of the college seal 
committee that they recommended the council to present 
a memorial to the Earl Marshal for a grant of arms 
according to the sketch furnished by Mr. Langton, and 
that on the grant being made the same be adopted as 
the device for the common seal of the college. Mr. 
Langton took great interest in the subject, and not only 
designed the arms but paid the fees. The grant was 
made by the College of Arms, and the engraving of the 
seal was entrusted to Messrs. J. S. and A. B. Wyon. 

Although the collegiate work had still to be conducted 
under great disadvantages from want of space, it was 
not allowed to stand still. Professor Stewart made an 
application for a grant of ^200 for erecting a magnetic 
observatory and the purchase of magnetic apparatus. 
The council felt the need to be real, and without waiting 
for a report from the senate on the subject voted the 
money. The observatory had temporarily to be erected 
in the professor's garden, but when the new college was 
occupied the observatory was removed to the college 
grounds. This grant was the more valuable because 
the treasurer had to call attention to the state of the 
finances the expenditure was exceeding the income. 

The council reported to the court at its meeting on 
6th October, 1871, a return made by the trustees for 
educational purposes, under Mr. Owens's will, of the 
revised conditions of associateship, together with a 
list of the associates of the college. The return and 
list were accepted and filed, and respectively entered 
on the register of associates. The court resolved 


to adopt and take over the associates of Mr. Owens's 
college to be associates of the Owens College accor- 
ding to the list received and according to the terms 
of their respective admissions. The bye-laws were 
also adopted for regulating the keeping of the register 
of associates, and the mode of appointment by the 
associates of the college of members of the court, and 
as to meetings of the associates. In accordance with 
this resolution the council invited the associates to 
proceed to the appointment of three members of the 
court, and instructed the registrar to affix on the college 
notice board a copy of the resolution of the last meeting 
of the court, adopting conditions for the admission of 
associates, with a special intimation of the strictly 
temporary character of the arrangement. 

The meeting of associates was held on the 2oth 
December, when the following gentlemen were elected 
to be governors of the college : Edward John Broad- 
field, Esq., B.A., William Jack, Esq., M.A., and John 
Hopkinson, Esq., B.A., D.Sc. 

The council, looking forward to the increased accom- 
modation which was being provided for it by the exten- 
sion committee, requested the senate to draw up a 
statement as to whether any additional teaching power, 
or other appliances, were required for the effective 
working of the several departments on its entrance into 
the new college buildings. 

The senate prepared two reports, which the council 
generally approved, calling attention, however, to that 
portion which referred to natural history, with a view to 
the probable comprehension of a medical school in the 
scheme of the college, and the annexation thereto of 
the Peter Street museum. The substance of these 
reports was presented to the court at their meeting, 


28th March, 1872, and a resolution was passed approv- 
ing of the steps taken by the council towards an 
extension of the college scheme in the direction of 
organising medical and legal departments on an effective 
basis, and they also approved generally of the proposed 
extension of teaching power suggested by the senate. 
The following were the principal features of the report : 

I. In the opinion of the senate an increase both in 
the teaching power and in general academical appliances 
would be called for on entrance into the new buildings. 
The need now felt would be still more urgent then, 
both because a considerable increase in the number of 
students might reasonably be looked for, and because 
defects, at present overlooked, would force themselves 
on the attention when the college would lay claims to 
greater importance and would assume a more public 
character. It was, moreover, not desirable that the 
professors should be so entirely engrossed by the labour 
of teaching as to be wholly precluded from engaging in 
original research, and so from adding both to their 
success as teachers and to the reputation of the college. 

II. The council would remember that the additions 
to the teaching power of recent years had not resulted 
in lessening the work of the professors, nor would the 
recommendations of that report give them greater ease, 
but they would increase, and that very greatly, the 
efficiency of their work. This would be done by a 
greater subdivision of classes, by paper work in the 
literature classes, and practical demonstrations in the 
science classes ; and in the senior classes by the pro- 
fessors giving short courses on special subjects. 

III. As regarded the requirements of the several de- 
partments, in Classics: The professors of Greek and 
Latin felt that the appointment of an assistant lecturer 


in classics would tend very materially to promote the 
efficiency of the college. Full reasons were given for 
this recommendation. English and History: Before 
long a sub-division of the chair would be indispensable, 
if the subjects at present connected with it were to be 
taught in a fully adequate way by a specially qualified 
man, as other subjects were being taught in the col- 
lege. The existing combination was only excusable 
by necessity; and if the college was to have an English 
professor and a history professor worthy of the name, 
and each able by the fulness of his knowledge to 
advance the study of his subject as it needed to be 
advanced, it must cease to roll the two professors into 
one. Mathematics: There was no immediate need for 
change in that department, but an increase in the num- 
ber of students would seriously impair certain classes. 
Chemical, Physical, and Engineering Departments: It 
was of the highest importance to the continued success 
of the whole institution that the science departments 
should in every direction be thoroughly efficient. Par- 
ticulars as to apparatus necessary ; its cost, additional 
wages and expenses were given. Natural History: 
With the prospect of the annexation of the Natural 
History Museum, and the incorporation of the Royal 
School of Medicine, it was recommended: i. That a 
professor of geology should be appointed. He might 
combine the curatorship of the museum with his other 
duties. Provision should be made for field excursions, 
and a course of physical geography or physiography 
should be given by the professor. He would also be 
expected to supply the necessary scientific course for 
mining students ; but the special shorter courses on 
mining and metallurgy might be given by eminent 
mining engineers. Provision should also be made for 


a course on mineralogy. 2. The professor of natural 
history would become the professor (a) of comparative 
anatomy and zoology, and (b) of botany. The time 
liberated by the withdrawal of geology should be given 
to the personal superintendence by the professor of a 
biological laboratory, in which the students would be 
trained in dissections and microscopical demonstrations 
in zoology and botany. 

The report made further recommendations as to the 
library, and in some detail gave an estimate of the 
increased cost the council would be put to by carrying 
out their plan. In conclusion it stated that, at a very 
full meeting of the senate, the following resolution was 
unanimously passed : " That, as a contribution towards 
the increased expenditure now recommended by the 
senate, the sum of ^1,000 be placed in the hands of 
the council to be levied on the members of the senate." 
Then followed their proposed plan. To this most 
generous proposal the council returned the following 
resolution: "That the council desire to record their 
appreciation of the liberal offer of the senate, and their 
trust that means may be found for carrying out the 
desired extensions without the necessity for calling upon 
them for their promised contribution." Means were 
found in due time, but the offer was none the less 

The two reports of the senate, of which the above is 
an abstract, were referred by the council to the scholar- 
ships committee, with a request that they would report 
on the expediency and practicability of carrying out the 
recommendations contained therein, or on those refer- 
ring to extensions most urgently needed. 

The amalgamation of the Royal School of Medicine 
and Surgery with the college, which had been accom- 


plished in principle, left certain details to be settled. 
The school had to continue at Pine Street for a time as 
neither the new college nor its own building was ready 
for it; but there was a prospect of both being accom- 
plished by-and-by, and it became necessary for the 
council to settle terms with the owners of the old 
premises. It will be remembered that Mr. Turner was 
the founder of the school. This property, later on, was 
vested in Messrs. Thomas Turner and George Southam 
by their taking it on lease ; they had placed fixtures 
in the building, and had formed an anatomical and 
pathological museum. Mr. Southam proposed, on 
behalf of himself and Mr. Turner, as proprietors, that 
they should surrender to the college the lease of the 
school with the whole of the fixtures therein, on the 
following terms: (a) That the college should pay the 
rent of the premises, viz., ^95 per annum, and in 
addition thereto ^105 per annum, to Messrs. Turner 
and Southam, so long as the lease and tenure of the 
premises continue in possession of the college, (b] That 
in case the college should dispose of the lease, the sum 
of ,2,500 should be paid to Messrs. Turner and 
Southam in extinction of all claims by them on the 
property as above described, (c] The above con- 
sideration to include the purchase of all the fixtures of 
the school, and the scholarship funds amounting to 
;i,ooo, but not the anatomical collections and prepara- 
tions, which were the property of private individuals. 
(</) The above terms to be contingent on the establish- 
ment of the claim of Messrs. Turner and Southam to 
a renewal of their lease of the premises. 

Mr. [afterwards Sir] Charles Hall had advised the 
committee that in his opinion assuming the covenant 
in the original lease to be a covenant for perpetual 


renewal Messrs. Turner and Southam could compel 
the original lessor to grant them a new lease of the 
premises upon the same rent and terms as the original 
lease and containing a similar covenant for renewal. 
He was of opinion that they had the power to assign 
such right effectually so as to enable the college to 
apply for and compel the delivery of the new lease. 

The treasurer was empowered to close with Messrs. 
Turner and Southam on the above-named terms. 

These conditions having been satisfactorily arranged, 
it became necessary to bind the school with the college 
in some tighter bonds than those of verbal agreement. 

At a meeting of the council, held i6th February, 
1872, the following resolutions were passed : 

I. That the treasurer be authorised to signify to Mr. 
Turner and Mr. Southam the agreement on the part of 
the college to undertake the charge of the medical 
school from the ist October, 1872, those gentlemen 
clearing all expenses of rent and taxes, lecturers' fees, 
and assistants' wages up to that date, and the college 
taking all students' fees, compositions unpaid, new com- 
positions, and course fees, and paying lecturers, assis- 
tants, and all expenses from the same date, the college to 
complete the contracts with the compounding students. 

II. That the college accepts the ; 1,000' now in- 
vested in consols and called the scholarship fund, and 
undertakes to retain the same by way of endowment 
(subject to reinvestment), and to apply the income 
thence arising yearly, according to regulations to be 
framed by the college, for the encouragement of stu- 
dents in the medical department of the college in prizes 
to be awarded as Turner Medical Prizes. 

1 This was an error, it was only ,670. 153. 8d. consols, and realised 6iS. i6s. 


III. That until such rearrangements have been com- 
pleted it be understood that the school is to be conducted 
by the college (subject to necessary temporary modifi- 
cations) upon the present scheme and footing, and in 
the present premises. 

IV. That Mr. Southam be requested to continue to 
act as director of the school, but from the i st October 
next on behalf of the college, in concert with the council 
and the principal, until such arrangements of the system 
as the college may deem it expedient to effect have 
been completed. 

V. That the foregoing resolutions having been ac- 
cepted by Messrs. Turner and Southam, the treasurer 
and the principal be requested and authorised to address 
to each lecturer of the school a request that he will 
consent to continue to afford to the college such assist- 
ance in the school as heretofore, and upon the same 
terms, pending the arrangement of the scheme for pro- 
fessorial and other assistance, in the maintenance of 
the medical school in full incorporation with the college. 

The extension committee now took up the subject, 
and on their behalf Professor Roscoe, with Messrs. 
Southam, Lund, and William Smith, visited various 
medical schools in London, including St. Thomas's 
Hospital, King's College, and the museum of the Royal 
College of Surgeons, with the object of learning what 
would be best to include in the proposed new buildings. 
They also conversed with many eminent men. Dr. 
Roscoe reported that he thought the building necessary 
for the school in connection with the college could be 
erected on the land at the back of Mr. Barker's stables. 
He thought it was now advisable to procure the pro- 
mised plans of various schools for submission to the 


On March 22nd the council approved of the recom- 
mendations of the extension committee, that special 
buildings for a complete medical school should be 
erected on college property, and that so far as the funds 
at the disposal of the college would allow, such buildings 
w r ere to be proceeded with as soon as conveniently 
might be. The committee were authorised to instruct 
Mr. Waterhouse to prepare sketch plans of a medical 
school on the suggestions offered by them, of a simple 
character, due regard being paid to efficient and conve- 
nient arrangement. 

A special executive committee was formed, and on 
the 3rd May, 1872, they issued a circular to the public 
stating : That by an arrangement between the council 
of the Owens College and the directors of the Man- 
chester Royal School of Medicine and Surgery, the 
school would become incorporated with the college on 
ist August, 1872. By this arrangement : (a) The col- 
lege would be placed on a wider basis, and would gain 
both in number of students and in breadth of tuition. 
(6) The students of medicine would have the advantage 
of collegiate discipline, and would be surrounded by 
the means of attaining that higher culture, which is so 
important to members of a liberal profession. It was 
most important that such building and appliances as 
the requirements of modern science demand should 
immediately be provided, and also that at least two 
professorial chairs should be liberally endowed. Miss 
Brackenbury had generously given ,10,000, half of 
which would be devoted to the building fund, and the 
other moiety for the endowment of a professorship in 
some branch of medical science ; the public were 
invited to give as much more. The executive com- 
mittee consisted of: T. Ashton, Sir J. L. Bardsley, 


M.D., Hugh Birley, M.P., J. G. Greenwood, R. John- 
son, E. Lund, W. Roberts, M.D., George Reed, M.D., 
H. E. Roscoe, Ph.D., F.R.S., William Smith, George 
Southam, Joseph Thompson, Thomas Turner, M. A. 
Eason Wilkinson, M.D. ; M. Gladstone and A. Neild, 
treasurers ; J. E. Morgan and A. Ransome, honorary 

This was the outcome of a public meeting held at the 
college on the 26th April, 1872. It needed some 
apology at that time to unite a medical with an art 
school, for medical professors were to be found who 
opposed it. Principal Greenwood, on the other hand, 
stated at the meeting that the newly-formed union was 
not an innovation upon established practice, but rather 
the contrary. It had been the usage of universities for 
eight hundred years to form connections with medical 
schools. If in England they had seemed to be sepa- 
rated, it was due to the fact that the two great univer- 
sities were in towns of small population, and therefore 
did not afford the opportunity to students of practising 
in very large hospitals. On the other hand, London 
with many hospitals had but recently obtained schools 
of general learning. Manchester might be proud of its 
medical school of fifty years' standing, being the largest 
and oldest of the provincial schools, and having had 
such a man as John Dalton one of its science teachers. 
Mr. Turner moved a resolution expressing great satis- 
faction with the amalgamation; this was seconded by 
Sir J. L. Bardsley, M.D., and carried. 

The press cordially supported the movement. The 
Manchester Guardian felicitously said : " Though the 
match has long been no secret, the betrothal of Owens 
College and the Manchester Royal School of Medicine 
was an interesting and important ceremony. Founders, 


managers, or supporters of both institutions testified, by 
presence or speech, to their expectation that the union 
will be found mutually advantageous. A university 
such as Owens College is to become is manifestly 
incomplete without professional departments, and espe- 
cially without one of medicine." 

But though the marriage had been so auspiciously 
consummated there were speedy fears respecting the 
dowry. The executive committee of the medical school 
subscribers met on the 3rd of May, when plans of the 
proposed building for the medical department were 
produced, and after examination were remitted to the 
medical committee for further consideration and report. 
Dr. Roscoe stated that it would facilitate progress very 
much if each member of the committee (eighteen in 
number) would guarantee ,100, as the council of the 
college would in all probability then order the building 
to be proceeded with so as to be ready for occupation 
in June, 1873; but there was great danger of postpone- 
ment if a substantial sum were not forthcoming. Each 
of the gentlemen .present agreed to guarantee ,100, in 
fact the promises amounted to ,1,910. It was resolved 
that the council of the college be informed that the 
executive were in a position to guarantee 3,000, in 
addition to Miss Brackenbury's gift of 5,000, and they 
were to be respectfully asked if they then felt justified 
in proceeding with the building so as to be ready for 
occupation in June, 1873. 

When this came before the council Mr. Moulds worth 
moved that, in view of the serious deficiency, amounting 
to 25,000 on building account and about 400 a year 
on endowment account, nothing be done for twelve 
months. This was not seconded, but the council re- 
solved that they learnt with great satisfaction that the 


executive committee were able to guarantee ,3,000, 
and they recognised the importance of having the new 
building ready for occupation without loss of time, still 
they were not then in a position to undertake its 
erection; they would, however, communicate with the 

When this was done the executive appointed a sub- 
committee with instructions to report in writing upon 
the particulars of the Pine Street school, its classes and 
staff, and the desirability or otherwise of leaving a 
certain number of the medical -classes at Pine Street 
for the present. They reported that, although it was 
desirable to continue some portions of the teaching at 
the school for the present, it would not be possible to 
conduct the anatomical department there when the 
other classes were removed to the college. They 
thought it desirable to instruct Mr. Waterhouse to pre- 
pare working drawings for the whole building according 
to the sketch plans then before them. They thought 
that in view of the fact that the committee had raised 
,4,470 in a very short time they might urge the council 
of the college to proceed at once with the necessary 
building as they had every reason to believe that the 
amount required for endowment would also be obtained. 
While these financial difficulties were causing trouble to 
the committee those zealous workers were cheered by 
an offer from Mr. Robert Platt, of Dunham Hall and 
Stalybridge, to contribute ,2,500 for the endowment 
of two scholarships in aid of the study of physiology at 
the college. The contributions to the new building also 
came in, the old medical students showing great interest 
in the movement. Mrs. Dumville also gave .500 to 
establish an annual prize for surgery, in commemoration 
of her late husband. 


On i Qth February, 1873, the extension committee 
felt justified in accepting a tender for the new medical 
school buildings. It was that of Messrs. Clay, and 
amounted to ,12,048, less the value of old materials. 
Towards this ,10,543. J 8s. had been received or 
promised, in addition to the "5,000 for endowment by 
Miss Brackenbury. The new building was wisely 
planned for a much larger school than that which 
attended Pine Street. It was to contain two lecture 
theatres on the ground floor, one for one hundred and 
forty-three, the other for one hundred and ten students ; 
a large library, forty-two feet by thirty-two feet; and a 
museum, forty-seven feet nine inches by thirty-two 
feet, with two galleries. The dissecting room was to 
be fifty -five feet six inches by thirty-two feet, and there 
was to be a physiological laboratory. The building 
would also contain professors' private rooms, students' 
common room, a microscopic and other rooms. 

The council, after taking the advice of many eminent 
men, including Professor Huxley, determined to appro- 
priate Miss Brackenbury's gift of ,5,000 to the founda- 
tion of a chair of practical physiology. The professor 
was to give the whole of his time to the work of the 
college. The same condition has been held with 
regard to the chair of anatomy, and the result has 
been to raise the position of the medical school in an 
eminent degree. The council proceeded forthwith to 
give full effect to the incorporation of the medical 
school, by assimilating its organisation to that of the 
other departments of the college. The medical 
students on the register at that time [April, 1873] were 
one hundred and twelve, a larger number than in any 
previous year ; for the session 1885-6 they were three 
hundred and twenty-three. 


The amalgamation of the school of medicine with 
the college occupied much of the time and thought of 
the council, but it had also many other duties to attend 
to. I n April, 1872, Professor Bryce prepared a scheme of 
law lectures for the session 1872-3, which was approved 
by the law associations of Manchester and Liverpool. 
This was adopted by the council, and communicated to 
the senate with a request that they would invite Pro- 
fessor Bryce to make the necessary arrangements with 
the assistant lecturers, and to furnish the detailed 
syllabus of each course, if possible, in time to enable 
the college to publish the details with the general pro- 
spectus of the college in June. The course of lectures 
consisted of : i. Equity ; general introduction to it, and 
treatment of some leading department. - ii. Equity ; 
treatment of two or three leading departments, iii. 
Common law ; elements of the law of torts. iv. 
Leading principles of evidence, with express reference 
to the statute of frauds, v. Principles of the law of 
agency. The complete course was intended to cover 
two years. 

The senate, through Professor Bryce, presented a 
petition to Parliament in favour of Sir Roundell 
Palmer's motion on the subject of improved legal 

The senate, at the request of the council, prepared 
two reports on the additional teaching power required, 
this led to some important changes. The senate 
thought it most desirable (having regard to the require- 
ments of London University) that geology should be 
at once separated from the other branches of natural 
history. 1 In order to carry out the extension scheme, 

1 See chapter xxii. 


the council appointed assistant lecturers in classics, in 
English, and in history. The newly established physical 
laboratory had been in full operation and good work 
was done. A draftsman and modeller was appointed 
for the engineering department. Other desirable addi- 
tions had to be postponed as there was no available 
income to meet them. 

During the year 1872 several valuable gifts and 
bequests were made to the college. Some have been 
already mentioned ; there were in addition : (a) A 
bequest of ,2,000 by the late Alderman Rumney, a 
former governor of the college. One-half of this was 
to found a scholarship, tenable for three years at the 
college, to "the artizan member of any institute in the 
Union of Lancashire and Cheshire Institutes who shall 
at the last occasion before the scholarship shall be 
vacant obtain the highest aggregate number of marks 
at the May government science examinations." The 
second thousand pounds was to be applied in aid of the 
general objects of the college. (6) Mr. Beyer offered 
to contribute ^100 per annum towards the provision of 
additional assistance (demonstrators, etc.) in the chemical 
department; this was continued till Mr. Beyer's death. 

(c] Mr. John Rylands generously offered the sum of 
^400, but on the distinct understanding that he was 
not pledged to give the same or any sum in subsequent 
years, but he would be open to a like application from 
the council from time to time. The donations con- 
tinued till they amounted in the aggregate to .1,900. 

(d] Mr. John Ramsbottom, to whom the college is 
indebted for much good advice and pecuniary assistance, 
offered in November the sum of .1,000 to found a 
scholarship to be held in the college by candidates 
selected from the staff employed in the locomotive 


department of the London and North- Western Railway 
Company. (e) The gift of ,2,500 by Mr. Platt 
(already alluded to) was completed before the year 
closed. (/) Mr. Samuel Fielden increased his gift to 
the mathematical chair, (g] Mr. C. J. Hey wood gave 
^500 for the purpose of doubling the value of the 
Victoria Scholarship. 

With so much to record of what was generous and valu- 
able, it seems churlish and ungrateful to refer to gifts 
or the offer of gifts which were but lightly esteemed. 
A tendency arose to offer scholarships which were not 
large in themselves, but were clogged with conditions 
that were felt to be unjust to the professors and lecturers. 
These gentlemen were expected to bestow their time and 
thought in teaching young men necessarily the least 
cultivated of the students during the session, and then 
to expend a great deal of trouble in examining them, 
and when all was done there was no return for their 
labour and the scanty endowment had to be augmented 
by the cession of the fees ! Thus : A letter was 

received stating that Mr. A had gained the B 

exhibition, and requesting that "the remission of the fees 

granted to the holders of the C exhibition might 

be extended to the similar foundation of the B 

exhibition." Whereupon the council resolved : " That 
subject to the consent of the professors and lecturers to 
forego their share of the fees of the candidate at 

present holding the B exhibition, the council agree 

to remit during the tenure of the exhibition the college 
fees for such classes as the senate may allow him to 
attend on such terms. That the council, whilst acced- 
ing to the application of the on this occasion, 

record their strong objection to making such concessions 
except upon previous and satisfactory information as to 


the nature of the qualifying examination, or on the 
occasion of voluntary and temporary gifts which are not 
endowments." This question was considered to be so 
important that it was brought before the governors at 
the next court meeting, when they resolved : " That as 
serious difficulties may arise from the establishment in 
connection with the college of trusts with various, and 
possibly conflicting, limitations, the council be requested 
to consider and report to an early meeting of the court 
as to the conditions upon which the council think it 
desirable that they shall, in future, have the power 
to accept proposed gifts or bequests. 

There were some minor incidents prior to the opening 
of the new building which may be here recorded. 

It was with something like consternation that the 
principal had to report to the senate that London Uni- 
versity had determined to make the study of Greek 
optional in future for all candidates for matriculation. 
The principal was requested to inform the senate of the 
university that this rule might bear hardly in certain 
cases at the forthcoming examination. 

Dr. Gamgee was appointed Brackenbury professor of 
physiology, and Professor Wilkins was appointed pro- 
fessor of comparative philology in addition to his office 
of professor of Latin. Messrs. W. Smith, Southam, and 
Lund, and Drs. Wm. Roberts and Morgan, formerly 
lecturers in the medical school, were appointed profes- 
sors of the college. 

Finally, an important change was made in the status 
and emoluments of the principal, " in special acknow- 
ledgment of the signal service which he has rendered 
to the college." 



"Then strive, fair youth, and scorn the sloth of ease, 
Strive onward, like the faithful Genoese ; 
And the same Heaven that heard the shepherd's psalm 
Shall cheer the journey and prepare the palm. 
Distant the end, and long the road before, 
But safe the footing on the long-sought shore ; 
With open mind and reverential love, 
Clear eye, stout heart, high hope and God above." 

A Fragment of a Morality. 

'TpHE long-looked-for day when the new buildings 
-*- should be opened had at last arrived. There had 
been much patient endurance of increasing discomfort 
by both professors and students. It has been shown 
that an outcry of overcrowding arose in 1865, when 
the day and evening students numbered four hundred 
and thirty-nine; but in the session of 1872-3 the old 
college had to receive within its walls, in the ordinary 
day classes of arts, law, and science, three hundred 
and thirty-four students; there were also one hundred 
and twelve students of the medical school on the 
register. In the evening classes the total number was 
five hundred and fifty-seven. The wonder is how so 
many young men could receive an efficient training 
under such unfavourable physical conditions. It was 
therefore regarded as a happy deliverance when the 
doors of the new building were thrown open for the 
reception of students on the 7th of October, 1873. 


His Grace the Duke of Devonshire, K.G., F.R.S., 
the president of the college, was chairman of the in- 
augural proceedings. He was supported by the Mayor 
of Manchester, the Bishop of Manchester, the Earl of 
Ellesmere, R. N. Philips, M.P. (the High Sheriff of 
Lancashire), Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth, Bart., Sir 
William Fairbairn, Bart., F.R.S., Sir Thomas Bazley, 
Bart., M.P., Sir Benjamin Brodie, Bart, F.R.S., Hugh 
Birley, M.P., W. C. Brocklehurst, M.P., A. Brogden, 
M.P., Hon. A. Egerton, M.P., Hon. W. Egerton, 
M.P., J. T. Hibbert, M.P., J. B. Smith, M.P., John 
Hick, M.P., Egerton Leigh, M.P., Edmund Potter, 
M.P., F. S. Powell, M.P., Sir James Ramsden, General 
Lysons, the Dean of Manchester (Dr. Cowie), the 
Dean of Durham (Dr. Lake), Archdeacon Anson, the 
Archdeacon of Chester, the Mayor of Salford, Sir 
James Bardsley, M.D., Thomas Turner, Henry Cole, 
C.B., James Crossley, Dr. J. H. Gladstone, James 
Heywood, F.R.S., Sir John lies Mantell, F. J. Head- 
lam, C. S. Roundell (secretary of the Universities 
Endowments Commission), Rev. Caleb Scott, LL.B. 
(principal of Lancashire Independent College), Rev. 
W. Gaskell, M.A., Dr. Storrar (chairman of the Con- 
vocation of the University of London), Dr. Jack, 
Alfred Neild (treasurer of the college), Thomas Ashton, 
Oliver Heywood, E. J. Broadfield, Joseph Thompson, 
Dr. John Watts, Principal Greenwood, Professor Roscoe, 
Dr. Gamgee, Professor Ward, etc., etc. 

The Bishop of Manchester read the i9th Psalm and 
two prayers, after which 

The President delivered an address. He said that 
the proceedings of the day having commenced with a 
solemnity so entirely in harmony with the object which 
had brought his audience together, it devolved upon 


him to pronounce officially the opening of the building. 
The success of any institution depended in a very large 
measure on its local habitation and on its adaptation to the 
work that had to be carried on within it. Such buildings 
embodied the results of much time, labour, thought, and 
money, and those considerations were sufficient to 
account for the observance of the custom of ceremony, 
and were at any rate justifiable in that instance ; for 
among all the public buildings which adorned the streets 
of Manchester, or which ministe'red to the various 
requirements of its vast population, there could be none 
of which they might more confidently anticipate that it 
would have an important influence on the future 
destinies of that great community, or reflect greater 
credit upon the enlightened public spirit of Manchester 
and the district of which it was the centre, than this. 
Its friends might view the existing condition with very 
great satisfaction, yet he was much mistaken if its 
further progress and development would not be greatly 
promoted and accelerated now that it came into pos- 
session of the ample accommodation which the new 
building provided. Owens's design was to found a 
college in which instruction should be given in all the 
branches of knowledge which were taught at that time, 
or should thereafter be taught, in the English universi- 
ties. Large as was the founder's bequest, it was alto- 
gether insufficient to meet present wants. The range 
of studies at the old English universities had been 
greatly extended, and it was now very generally recog- 
nised to be the proper function and duty of a university 
to teach not only some few selected subjects, but every 
great and important branch of human knowledge on 
which the human faculties can be employed. To 
provide, then, instruction co-extensive with that vast 


field was the duty committed to the governing body of 
Owens College. The duke complimented his audience 
on the satisfactory result which had attended the appeal 
to the public of Manchester for funds to complete the 
new buildings ; he testified to the marked ability of the 
teaching staff of the college, which had done so much 
to raise it to its high position ; he expressed his gratifi- 
cation at the incorporation of the Royal School of 
Medicine, and at the acquisition of the natural history 
and geological museums; and he thought they might 
regard the organisation and position of the college with 
unmingled satisfaction. 

Following the president, the Principal delivered an 
address " On some Relations of Culture to Practical 
Life." 1 

Mr. Ash ton formally handed over to the governors 
of the college the building which had been erected 
under the care of the extension committee, of which he 
was chairman. He thought that he might say with 
confidence that they would find every arrangement of 
the most convenient character, every provision for both 
student and professor most complete, and that, in fact, 
they would possess the most complete and best arranged 
academical building that had ever been raised in England. 
This was not self praise either for himself or his com- 
mittee, for the whole of the construction, the planning, 
and the carrying out of every detail were entirely due 
to the architect, Mr. Waterhouse. That building was 
only part of their scheme; they had yet much more to 
do, and although they had already gone to the public 
who had responded generously, and although they were 
then ,20,000 in debt, he looked forward to the time 

1 Essays, etc., pp. i 19. 


when they would make an appeal for ^150,000 more. 
He felt sure that in and around Manchester, if a good 
work were done and the people saw it was useful and 
good, there were plenty of men among them who would 
take care that it was not starved. He had the greatest 
confidence that before thirty years had elapsed they 
would see within the walls of Owens College from one 
thousand five hundred to two thousand students, and he 
did not think that was more than the district ought 
to send up to enjoy the advantages of the higher 

Professor Roscoe thanked the architect for the 
admirable building he had designed and erected, and 
Mr. Waterhouse responded. 

Mr. Alfred Neild reviewed the history of the college, 
and pointed out that there had been no change in the 
character of the education as to its general principles. 

The Bishop of Manchester said Mr. Neild had 
spoken of Manchester in the past; he had to speak of 
it in the present, and to what he thought were its 
special dangers. Manchester had the credit, or the 
character, of being a place addicted to the pursuit of 
money, and it was supposed to be a place on which 
wealth had been largely poured in response to the 
efforts made to attain it. Aristotle had said: "After a 
man gets wealth he often does not know how to use 
it;" and Pindar had a maxim that "Wealth, when 
embellished with high gifts both of body and mind, 
gives to a man noble opportunities." He hoped many 
there would use their money wisely. He urged the 
authorities to raise the standard of age; they should 
be content for boys to remain at the Grammar School 
till they were seventeen, and then carry them on till 
they were twenty or twenty-one. He was convinced 


that greater results would follow if young men of 
twenty-one were sent out to fight the battle of life 
than boys of seventeen. He alluded to teaching in 
ancient Greece as given by Socrates, that good con- 
duct was a noble thing in life, and better than good 
fortune; that what we had to do was to do our duty to 
the best of our ability in the station in which we had 
been placed, and that whether we became rich or poor 
we should at least die with the satisfaction of believing 
that we had tried to do our duty. 

Professor Scott bore testimony to the value which 
Owens College had been to the students of the Lanca- 
shire Independent College: formerly it had only been 
a temporary arrangement, henceforth it would be per- 

Sir James Kay-Shuttle worth complimented Professor 
Roscoe on the admirable chemical laboratory which 
had been built for him, and congratulated Professor 
Gamgee on the advantage he had of founding the first 
laboratory for physiological research in England. He 
rejoiced that there would be no neglect of ancient 
studies at the college, and no deference merely to the 
use of the studies in life, but that the highest aims of 
all learning should be first taught, and the consequences 
left to take care of themselves. 

The Hon. Algernon Egerton, M.P., spoke of the 
attachment he felt as an Oxford man to his university; 
he hoped a similar spirit would arise at Owens College. 
That college was rapidly becoming a worthy rival of the 
universities, and he hoped its example would influence 
the older colleges. 

Sir Benjamin Brodie felt the greatest interest in the 
proceedings, and believed that Owens College possessed 
all the essential constituents of a university; and he had 


no doubt that before long it would go forth into the 
world equipped as a university in every respect. In his 
opinion a university should not only be a teaching 
body, but from every point of view it should represent 
and promote the interest of knowledge, not only by 
teaching, but by preserving knowledge through the 
foundation of libraries, museums, and collections, and 
by the labours of its professors in furthering and in- 
creasing knowledge. Owens College was not merely a 
grammar school, but a great organ for furthering know- 
ledge. Sir Benjamin spoke of the evil caused by the 
old university tests, then happily done away with, causing 
as they did a great amount of evil in the shape of im- 
morality and dishonesty, which they created. They at 
Owens were happily free from all those evils. " I 
earnestly hope, and steadily believe," said he, "that 
Owens College will ever preserve that union between 
freedom and science freedom not only to think, but 
freedom of research and freedom of speech which is 
absolutely necessary for the progress of science. I hope 
that nobody will ever meddle with your professors, and 
try to put an extinguisher upon their researches." 

The Dean of Durham hoped literary culture would 
not be lost in the development of scientific research. 

Dr. Storrar spoke of the insufficient preparation of 
medical students a generation previous, and contrasted 
it with the improvement which followed upon the esta- 
blishment of the medical council in 1858. Students 
had now to come up for examination with a much 
better preparation, and this had the effect of raising the 
standard of instruction at schools and elsewhere. But 
the council intended to go much farther in the develop- 
ment of a scientific education. The contrast between 
the past and the future could only be compared to the 


contrast between an empirical craft and a scientific art, 
and it was the attainment of this scientific art which 
was the great object of the studies at Owens College. 

The meeting was further addressed by Mr. C. S. 
Roundell, Mr. H. Cole, the Rev. W. Gaskell, Sir 
James Ramsden, and the Earl of Ellesmere. 

The inauguration ceremonies were a great success. 
At the morning meeting the noble president was sup- 
ported by many men of eminence in science, art, and 
medicine ; by professors, lecturers, governors of the 
college, and leading citizens and students. The meeting 
was held in the chemical theatre, the speakers and 
invited guests being seated on a graduated platform 
which rose tier by tier to a great height. The room 
was quite full, and many were unable to find accommo- 
dation. There was sufficient colour from ladies' dresses 
and professors' gowns to produce a brilliant effect. 
The speeches lasted three hours ; their quality was 
good, and if it was felt possible to have too much 
even of them their monotony of excellence was varied 
by the humour of the students, the " medicals " being 
especially conspicuous. 

In the evening a conversazione was given at the 
college, the whole building being thrown open and 
brilliantly lighted. All the rooms and corridors were 
crowded to excess with ladies and gentlemen who 
desired to take part in the opening of the extended 
college, or who wished to see the " lions," and to enjoy 

The Duke of Devonshire, supported by the principal 
and several of the governors, received the guests, who 
interested themselves in examining the rooms and in 
attending the lectures given by Professors Roscoe, 
Ward, and Stewart. Refreshments were served during 


the evening, but the great crowd made it somewhat 
difficult to obtain what was longed for. 

It had been arranged by the professors that they 
would, in celebration of the opening of the new college, 
deliver at intervals a series of essays and addresses on 
special subjects selected by themselves. These were 
afterwards, at the request of the council, embodied in a 
volume entitled : Essays and Addresses by Professors 
and Lecturers of the Owens College, Manchester; 
London: Macmillan and Co., 1874. The volume was 
published under the editorial care of Professors Balfour 
Stewart and A. W. Ward. The following is a list of 
the lectures and addresses : 

Opening Address. By the Duke of Devonshire, K.G., F.R.S., 
president of the college. 

1. On some Relations of Culture to Practical Life. ByJ.G. Green- 

wood, B.A., principal, and professor of Greek. 

2. Original Research as a means of Education. By H. E. Roscoe, 

F.R.S., professor of chemistry. 

3. Solar Physics. By Balfour Stewart, F.R.S., professor of natural 


4. The Distance of the Sun from the Earth. By T. H. Core, M.A., 

professor of natural philosophy. 

5. The Limits of our Knowledge of the Earth. By W. Boyd Dawkins, 

F.R.S., curator of the natural history museum and lecturer in 
geology and palaeontology. 

6. The Use of Steam. By Osborne Reynolds, M.A., professor of 


7. Primeval Vegetation in its Relation to the Doctrines of Natural 

Selection and Evolution. By W. C. Williamson, F.R.S., pro- 
fessor of natural history. 

8. Science and Medicine. By A. Gamgee, M.D., F.R.S., Bracken- 

bury professor of practical physiology and histology. 

9. Some Historical Results of the Science of Language. By A. S. 

Wilkins, M.A., professor of Latin and comparative philology, 
i o. The Talmud. By T. Theodores, professor of oriental and modern 

1 1. Provencal Poetry in Old and Modern Times. By H. Breymann, 

lecturer in the French language and literature. 


12. The Judicature Act of 1873 in its Relation to the History of the 

Judicial System in England. By J. Bryce, D.C.L., professor 
of jurisprudence and law (regius professor of civil law in the 
University of Oxford). 

13. The Railways and the State. By W. Stanley Jevons, F.R.S., pro- 

fessor of logic and mental and moral philosophy and political 

14. The Peace of Europe. By A. W. Ward, M. A., professor of English 

and history. 

The opening address and Principal Greenwood's paper 
formed part of the inaugural proceedings, the remainder 
were given at intervals during the month of October. 

It may be interesting to append a complete list of 
students from the commencement in the old building 
till the removal to the new college. 

Session. Day. Evening. Medical. Total. 

,. ... 2 5 
. ... 62 

. ... 99 


. ... 127 
. ... 117 
... 154 
. -T- ... 93 


... 134 
. ... 161 

.- 323 


.. 422 



..- 393 

. 497 
. ... 683 

... 643 

134 ... 1,004 

i8 5 i 

... 25 


... 62 


... 71 

... 28 


... 7! 



... 58 

... 69 


... 52 

... 65 


... 33 



... 34 






- 57 

... 77 


... 69 

... 92 



2 35 


... 108 

... 287 


1 1.0 

... 312 


... 128 



... 113 

... 282 


... 113 

... 280 


... 173 

... 3 2 4 



... 473 



... 434 





S 2 ? 

-. 5 J 3 






"If any man can be called truly a scientific man, he must be a grammarian, a 
musician, or some other specialist." GROTE'S Aristotle, i., p. 417. 

r I ^HE senate, reviewing their former practice, and 
-*- anticipating increasing responsibilities, passed an 
important standing order respecting candidates for pro- 
fessorships. It was, that whenever reference be made 
to the senate by the council as to the appointment to 
professorships, it be a standing order of procedure that 
the applications and testimonials of candidates be re- 
ferred for examination, arrangement, and report to a 
committee consisting of the professors in pari materia 
with the addition of the principal and one or more of 
the other professors, as may seem good to the senate 
on each occasion. 

The registrar was instructed to place before the 
senate, previous to the appointment of such committee, 
a schedule containing the names and a short abstract 
of the qualifications of each of the candidates. It was 
in this manner that the Brackenbury professor of 
physiology was appointed, the committee reporting that 
" Dr. Gamgee, having already shown his power of con- 
ducting original investigations of considerable value, 
they believed him to be fully qualified both to instruct 
medical students in practical physiology, and to direct 
with success the proposed physiological laboratory." 


The senate took another step, which has helped very 
materially to raise the medical school to its present high 
position; they invited the council, through the principal, 
to consider the expediency of summoning from time to 
time meetings of the whole body of the medical lecturers, 
as they (the senate) were of opinion that it would be the 
most convenient method of obtaining information and 
advice on matters affecting the medical department. 
This followed upon a resolution passed two months 
previously by the council (March 2ist, 1873): "That, 
having regard to the present and future constitution of 
the senate, the council consider it desirable that the 
number of medical professors should not for the present 
exceed six, and that of these nominations one should be 
attached to the Brackenbury chair." 

A temporary arrangement had been made with the 
medical lecturers. The following is the first complete 
list adopted by the council on the report of the senate : 


General anatomy and physiology Mr. Smith. 

Practical physiology and histology - Dr. Gamgee. 

Descriptive anatomy - Mr. S. Bradley. 

Practical anatomy - Mr. Perrin. 

Comparative anatomy - - Professor Williamson. 

Chemistry - Professor Roscoe. 

(Dr. Roberts. 
Principles and practice of medicine - - \ 

(Mr. Southam. 
Principles and practice of surgery - I \T T d 

Physiology and pathology of the eye - 1 

[The Physicians of the 
Clinical medicine j Royal Infirmary. 

(The Surgeons of the 
Clinical surgery - - { _. . _ 

( Royal Infirmary. 

1 Mr. Windsor was afterwards appointed. 



General pathology and morbid anatomy - Dr. Simpson. 
Midwifery and diseases of women and children Dr. Thorburn. 

Materia medica, medical botany, and thera-1 

} Mr. Somers. 
peutics -J 

Forensic medicine - Mr. G. M. Harrison. 

Practical chemistry - - Dr. 'Roscoe. 
Botany - Mr. Williamson. 

Hygiene and public health - - Dr. Ransome. 
Medical tutor Mr. Perrin. 

From time to time the college property has been 
enriched by the gift of portraits and busts of benefac- 
tors or professors, and by works of art. In October, 
1873, the principal presented to the council on behalf 
of certain day students a portrait in oil colour of Mr. 
William Jack, M.A., late professor of natural philo- 
sophy in the college. The month following, Mrs. 
Faulkner, the widow of the first chairman of trustees, 
kindly offered to present a medallion bust in marble of 
John Owens, the founder of the college. This offer 
was gladly accepted. Mrs. Faulkner selected Mr. 
Matthew Noble, who had done much good work for 
Manchester, as the artist to whom she would entrust 
her commission ; but before anything had been at- 
tempted Mr. Noble died, and Mrs. Faulkner placed 
the commission in the hands of Mr. Woolner, R.A. 
The result is a beautiful work of art. Mr. Woolner 
laboured under the difficulty of having very little 
material to go by: Owens had never had his portrait 
painted, and photography was in his time an unknown 
art. A silhouette was the only guide to follow, and 
with this most unsatisfactory assistance the sculptor 
produced the medallion which graces the board room. 

The year 1873, which had been so eventful in the 
history of the college, closed with some gloom. Pros- 


perity has its cares no less than its pleasures. The 
college had advanced towards a university position with 
giant strides, but it had also created a much larger 
expenditure, and the treasurer had to present to the 
council an unsatisfactory budget. There was a deficit 
in the year of 2,2 1 8. 8s. 5d. ; of this there were extra- 
ordinary expenses amounting to ^957, but, allowing 
for this, there was still an excess of expenditure 
amounting to ,1,260 per annum. It was plain to the 
treasurer that the council must contemplate either a 
large increase of means or a large retrenchment of 
expenditure. There were certain departments where 
expenditure was heavy, it was possible that by careful 
supervision it might be reduced ; the museum trust 
account presented a very serious aspect, the expenditure 
over receipts amounting to ^"1,061 in the current year. 
Rates had increased in amount to an alarming degree 
compared with what had been paid in the old premises, 
and the college was altogether on a much larger scale 
of expenditure. On the other hand, there were some 
hopeful features. If the old premises in Quay Street 
and the museum in Peter Street could be sold there 
would be immediate relief; students' fees might be in- 
creased ; an appeal might be made to the public. The 
condition was so important that the treasurer requested 
the appointment of a small committee to advise with 
him. Messrs. Ashton, Robinson, and Thompson were, 
therefore, appointed a committee to assist the treasurer 
in examining all the heads of college expenditure, with 
a view to their reduction, and they were instructed to 
confer with all the professors and officers as to outlay 
over which they could exercise control. A copy of the 
treasurer's report was to be sent to the extension com- 
mittee with a request that they would consider the possi- 


bility of increasing the means of the college. The court 
had its attention called to the subject in a report which 
stated that : " The completion and occupation of the 
new college will set the extension committee at liberty 
for further canvassing, and they entertain no doubt of 
being able at the next meeting of the court to report a 
very considerable diminution of the debt. If the 
council felt themselves bound to urge the provision of 
even more accommodation than that which has so far 
so liberally been provided, they are still more bound to 
press the claims of the college for an increase of its 
permanent income. The college ought to be able to 
assign handsome fixed salaries to its chairs, and to have 
ample means of paying a sufficient staff of competent 
lecturers and assistants." The council were in the most 
unpleasant and anxious position of having to face 
current and increasing indebtedness with none of those 
bright anticipations realised. They, therefore, resolved 
to bring their proceedings in a fuller manner than 
hitherto before the court. 

Thus ended the year 1873. It had scarcely passed 
the time when men congratulate one another on their 
entrance upon a new year before an offer came from 
Her Majesty's Board of Works for the purchase of the 
Quay Street property at the price of .13,000. It 
was resolved to call a special meeting of the court of 
governors to ask their consent to the sale of the 
premises, and subject to that being given Messrs. 
Neild, Darbishire, and Thompson were appointed a 
committee of the council to superintend the completion 
of the sale. The court gave its approval on the 6th 
March, 1874. 

It is a most comforting assurance to men engaged in 
public work, especially where financial aid is required, 


that they can never bring a good case before the people 
of Manchester and its neighbourhood without meeting 
with sympathy and assistance. There are good and 
bad times in business, and men's capabilities of giving 
will vary accordingly; but let the case presented be 
meritorious in itself, and its advocates really earnest in 
its success, and the money is sure to come. 

The court did not take up the question of the college 
finances at its spring meeting, but in addition to the 
relief afforded by the sale of the old college premises, 
there was a welcome present made by Mr. Rams- 
bottom in March, of ^1,000, to endow a scholarship in 
aid of the study of mechanical engineering, in favour of 
persons employed by the London and North- Western 
Railway Company. In April, a bequest of ; 10,000 
was received from the executors of the late E. R. 
Langworthy, Esq., for the establishment of a professor- 
ship of experimental physics, or otherwise for the pur- 
pose of promoting science. Mrs. Langworthy very 
kindly desired the full sum to be paid without any 
deduction for duty. At the same meeting of the 
council it was also announced that Mr. Samuel Fielden, 
of Todmorden, ever a warm and generous supporter of 
the college, intended to contribute ,5,000 to the per- 
manent endowment fund of the college, and his wish 
was that the income arising therefrom should be de- 
voted to the increase of the teaching power in the 
science department pure mathematics, or engineering, 
or both, to have the preference. 

In June, Principal Greenwood was able to inform the 
extension committee that certain friends of the college 
had taken action with a view to the increase and more 
adequate support of the professoriate, and that subscrip- 
tions to the extent of ^300 per annum for five years 


had been promised for that purpose ; and that it was 
proposed to make the first appropriation to a professor 
of anatomy. 

In July it was announced that Mr. C. J. Darbishire, 
of Rivington, had left two sums of ^1,000 each, one of 
them in aid of the professorship in jurisprudence and 
law, and the other in aid of the library. Mr. Darbishire 
had expressed his intention to his nephew, Mr. R. D. 
Darbishire, of giving this money several months before 
his death. Both sums were welcome, but that in aid of 
the library was especially valuable. The conditions 
attached to the bequest were so useful as to be worthy 
of mention, as a guide to others who may wish to 
bestow their wealth in a similar manner. In few 
directions could money be laid out to produce such 
valuable results. The will said : "^1,000 is to be used 
for extending the college library, by the addition of 
selected books of permanent value, according to the 
following conditions, viz. : 

" i. That a committee, consisting of the college pro- 
fessors of history, of language and literature, of law, 
and of moral and mental philosophy, shall from time to 
time, in their absolute discretion, select and purchase 
old and new books of standard character, in any lan- 
guage, to an amount (including the cost of serviceable 
binding for library use) not exceeding in any one year 
the amount of the interest for the year together with 
^100 of capital. 

" 2. The books shall be chosen with especial regard 
to supplementing the library, where it is from time to 
time found to be deficient, and to the character of each 
book as one of permanent value. The fund is not to 
be used to relieve the college of any part of its ordinary 
expenditure on the maintenance of the library. 


" 3. The books shall be chosen of one or other of the 
classes named below; and, so far as may be consistent 
with the convenience of the occurrence of suitable books 
and the needs of the college, care shall be taken that 
none of such class be neglected, (a) Of books of re- 
ligious thought and life, of any people, including so- 
called sacred books, and works of history, criticism or 
exposition ; and works in comparative theology ; but not 
including any works, except biographies, which treat of 
dogmatic or controversial subjects in a spirit other than 
that of scientific and unprejudiced pursuit of truth, and 
frank declaration of the results from time to time attained 
by honest, intellectual research, free from the bonds alike 
of authority and preconception, (b] Books of the lan- 
guages or literature of any people, (c] Books on mental 
or moral philosophy, on jurisprudence or constitutional 
history, or on political economy, (d) Books on history, 
biography, or geography (including books of travels of 
sufficient permanent interest), and books on politics 
(including scientific essays or any political questions of 
the day). 

" 4. Books of illustrations and maps, cyclopaedias, and 
dictionaries of permanent value, and relating to any of 
the classes referred to, would come within the range of 
this fund. So also would specially valuable editions of 
books otherwise already represented in the college 
library, but not copies having a merely bibliomaniacal 

"5. The books purchased should be reported to the 
council, and annually to the court of governors." 

The beneficial result of this arrangement was very 
great. It was definitely known each year how much 
money there was at command, and the professors were 
able to look out for and to secure choice works of 


permanent value. The library was enriched, not by 
spasmodic efforts, but with something like scientific 
precision and arrangement. 

There were several minor, but valuable gifts made to 
the college during the year 1874. The executors of 
Mr. Thomas Turner, the founder of the Manchester 
School of Medicine, gave three hundred volumes of 
books for the library. Mr. James Thorniley, of Godley, 
gave eight sheets of MSS. of the late Dr. John Dalton, 
and Mr. Taylor some philosophical apparatus. Mr. 
William Walker, the teacher of freehand drawing at 
the college, gave a collection of drawings, models, and 
casts. The council tendered their best thanks to Mr. 
Walker for his valuable contribution towards the teaching 
appliances of his department. In November the prin- 
cipal submitted in writing a proposal made by Sir 
Joseph Whitworth for endowing certain exhibitions in 
favour of artisans to be held in the college. The draft 
scheme was read and generally approved, and the 
principal and Professor Roscoe were requested to 
arrange details with the donor. The council tendered 
their best thanks to Sir Joseph for his liberal endow- 
ment. The scheme was never fully realised ; four 
payments of ^100 each (^400) were made to the 

Among the classes in the college, none had felt the 
benefit of the change to larger quarters more than the 
department of chemistry. The admirable arrangement 
of the laboratory, the excellence of the lecture rooms, 
combined with the constant oversight of the distin- 
guished professor, caused a great increase in the num- 
ber of students. The labour was too much for one 
professor, and in April, at the recommendation of the 
senate, the council appointed Mr. C. Schorlemmer, 


long the able demonstrator under Dr. Roscoe, professor 
of organic chemistry. 

In the month of May, Mr. Southam, the director of 
medical studies, to his great annoyance, had to inform 
the principal that in the primary anatomical and phy- 
siological examinations at the College of Surgeons, 
held during the previous six months, no less than half 
the candidates from the school of medicine who pre- 
sented themselves for examination failed to pass. 
"These failures," said Mr. Southam, "unexampled in 
the history of the school, indicate the necessity of 
immediately placing the whole of the anatomical teach- 
ing in the hands of one individual, who should devote 
his whole time to the duties of the office, and should 
be debarred from private practice." The senate urged 
upon the council the importance of appointing, so soon 
as the funds could be obtained, a thoroughly efficient 
professor of anatomy, who, without the distractions of 
private practice, should devote the whole of his time to 
preparing the students for the examinations, and should 
be responsible for the manner in which they might 
acquit themselves. 

In the meantime the senate suggested that no 
student should be permitted to go up for the examina- 
tion of the College of Surgeons without being examined 
in anatomy conjointly by the lecturer on descriptive 
anatomy and the lecturer on practical anatomy ; and 
in physiology by the professors of general and practical 
physiology, who would thus, before signing the sche- 
dules, together test the fitness of the candidates, and 
together be responsible for the manner in which the 
examinations were passed. The senate felt the import- 
ance of the recommendation so strongly that in a post- 
script to their report they again urged the council to 


appoint a professor of anatomy, who- would give the 
whole of his time to the chair. In course of time this 
plan was adopted both with anatomy and physiology, 
and the results have been most satisfactory. In the 
meanwhile the entire charge of the anatomical depart- 
ment was handed over to Mr. Perrin for the session 
1874-5. Mr Windsor was appointed lecturer on the 

It should be remembered that the medical classes 
were being carried on under unfavourable condi- 
tions. They were in a period of transition ; they met 
in the old premises, although they had become a part 
of Owens College ; some of their old lecturers had 
already gone away, their new ones worked under great 
disadvantages. The senate were well aware of this, 
and although the new school was still very incomplete, 
they passed a resolution that in their opinion all classes 
in the medical department should be given in the new 
school so soon as it was ready, but that some of the 
practical and tutorial classes might be held in the old 
school for a time if the council desired it. The senate 
requested their medical committee to report on the 
advisability of making such changes as should conduce 
to the increased efficiency of the medical school. They 
also recommended the council to adopt as the future 
designation of the medical department 



The new medical school buildings were opened 
in October, 1874, by Professor Huxley, F.R.S.; Mr. 
H. Birley, M.P., in the chair. 

The Chairman reminded his audience that Owens 
College School of Medicine would not merely be a 
change of name and place. The institution had been 


provided with ample lecture rooms, 'a library, museum, 
and laboratories, and to them would be added without 
delay all the most approved appliances for physiological 
research and study. He wished them to remember 
how much the city had been indebted for a period of 
fifty years to the old medical schools those at Pine 
Street, Marsden Street, and Chatham Street. There 
Dalton had lectured, and eminent physicians and sur- 
geons had filled the different chairs. 

Professor Huxley delivered a valuable address, in 
which he sketched the history of medical science and 
its present position. Part of this has already been 
given. 1 Mr. Huxley concluded with an eloquent appeal 
to the students. Having spoken of the improved curri- 
culum of the school, with its admirable appliances 
compared with what was afforded thirty or forty years 
ago, he said : " I would go on enlarging upon these 
advantages at still greater length, if it were possible that 
I could thereby stamp it upon your minds as firmly and 
strongly as it is borne into my own, that all those appli- 
ances and all those mechanical aids for the study of 
medicine are simply thrown away unless they have the 
foundation of human hard work and clear-headedness 
to go upon. You have before you probably that which 
is the most responsible of all human careers. It is hard 
for you now to realise that; it is very difficult indeed 
for you, curbing the hot blood of youth, to understand 
what great issues may depend upon your present career. 
But depend upon it that exactly in proportion as you 
make use of those advantages as you feel the burden 
of your responsibility as you acquire that knowledge 
which is essential to you so will your lives in future 

1 See chapter xvii., "Medical School." 


be passed either in the satisfaction of well -merited 
renown, or in the misery of a violated conscience." 

The meeting was further addressed by Principal 
Greenwood, Dr. Eason Wilkinson, Chancellor Christie, 
Professor Roscoe, Professor Matthew Duncan, of the 
University of Edinburgh, and Professor William Smith. 

The buildings that were opened were that portion 
which fronts Coupland Street. Their planning had 
been the result of much thought and examination of 
other schools by the architect, Mr. Waterhouse, and 
the committee. 

The removal of the medical school from the centre 
of the town to Owens College necessarily drew with it 
several eminent medical men: there were many others 
whose residences were in or near Oxford Street. It 
was suggested that it would add to the efficiency of the 
school if the excellent medical library were located 
within the college, and if the medical society could 
have a comfortable room in which they could hold 
their meetings. A sub-committee was appointed on 
the 1 7th July, 1874 (on a communication received from 
Dr. Gamgee), to take the subject into consideration, 
and on the 4th September following they made their 
report. The committee had considered the communi- 
cation, in conference with Mr. Lund and Dr. Gamgee 
on behalf of the medical school,, and Mr. Thomas 
Windsor on behalf of the medical society. They re- 
ceived the following information respecting the society 
and its library: 

The society consisted at that date of one hundred 
and sixty-five members, who contributed about ^250 
per annum, nearly the whole of which was expended 
annually in maintaining and increasing the library. 
The catalogue contained a list of some fifteen or sixteen 


thousand volumes. It was stated that the library for 
many years past had been most carefully managed and 
kept up by the exertions of members of the society, by 
regular purchases (together with frequent donations), 
comprising any English work of importance, and the 
principal French and German medical books. The 
annual addition was stated to amount to seven hundred 
volumes, and fifty periodicals were regularly taken. Mr. 
Windsor, whose knowledge was the result of most 
detailed labour in its arrangements and in its records 
and catalogues, stated that the library was second in 
importance to no medical library in the kingdom, ex- 
cept perhaps that of Edinburgh. The members of the 
society usually met from eight to twelve times a year, 
and held occasional committee meetings. They would 
require the use of a lecture room for the meetings of the 
society, of the library, and of a convenient quiet room for 
study, as soon as the college could provide the accommo- 
dation. It was proposed that the library be removed at 
the expense of the college into the library room of the 
new medical school ; be managed by a committee of the 
society, with the addition of the principal and a specially 
delegated member of the college council, and be used 
by the society, and also by the professors and lecturers 
and by the medical students of the college ; the college 
paying ^100 per annum towards the expenses, and 
finding light, fire, water, cleaning, and attendance. The 
society would pay the salary of the librarian and his 
assistants. The library to be vested in the college as a 
trustee for the promotion of the afore-mentioned objects 
and of medicine in Manchester. 

The committee reviewed the advantages which 
would arise to the college in complying with the sug- 
gested arrangement, not the least of which would be 


the friendly relations which it could scarcely fail to 
maintain between the college and so cultivated and 
influential a section of the community as the members 
of the medical profession ; this could not help proving 
most valuable to the college. The council approved of 
the proposals made in the report as being highly desir- 
able for the interests of the college; they reappointed 
the committee to deal with the matter, with powers to 
negociate on behalf of the college a provisional agree- 
ment between the college and the society and other 
necessary parties, on the basis of the proposals, and to 
communicate, if desirable, on behalf of the college with 
the authorities of the Manchester Royal Institution 
and the trustees of the Chetham Hospital and Library. 
The draft agreement to be approved by the council 
and the court of governors. 

The court at its meeting, 6th October, 1874, approved 
of the suggested arrangement, and of the proposals as a 
basis of an agreement between the college and the Man- 
chester Medical Society, and authorised the council and 
its committee to take and execute such measures as 
might appear to be necessary for carrying into effect 
such agreement on behalf of the college. 

'The Manchester Medical Society was founded at a 
meeting of the subscribers (seventy in number), held 
at the York Hotel, King Street, on September 4th, 
1834, their objects being " to establish a medical library 
and reading room, and to hold occasional meetings for 
mutual improvement and the advancement of medical 
science." Dr. Hull, physician to St. Mary's Hospital, 
was the first president. About two hundred and forty 
volumes of books (of which one hundred and forty-eight 

1 The particulars of this historical notice are taken from A Brief History of 
the Library of the Manchester Medical Society and Library Papers, No. 3; by C. 
J. Cullingworth, M.D. 


were from the president), presented by the members, 
formed the nucleus of the library. A room was engaged 
at No. 40, Faulkner Street, and the landlady acted for 
many years as librarian. In 1835 a catalogue was com- 
piled which showed the society to be in possession of 
one thousand and seventy-five volumes and pamphlets. 
This did not meet the wants of the subscribers, and ten 
years after the foundation of the society its income only 
amounted to ji, a sum which, after paying expenses, 
left very little for the purchase of books. 

The society removed to the Royal Institution in 
1845, and at the close of another ten years the income 
was slightly less than at the commencement. The 
society then received notice to quit the rooms at the 
institution, but so low were the funds that the committee 
felt the expense of removal would lead to a dissolution 
of the society. They made terms with the council of 
the Royal Institution and became a section of the insti- 
tution, the library being handed over in trust for the 
society. The finances continued to be in an unsatis- 
factory state till 1856, when an urgent appeal .was 
addressed to the medical men of the neighbourhood, 
which resulted in an addition of three hundred volumes. 
This was mainly due to the activity of the honorary 
secretary, Dr. Crompton. 

In 1857, Mr. Thomas Windsor, the eminent oculist, 
undertook the examination of the whole of the books in 
the library, and in his report made the following sound 
suggestions: " I should wish to remark that the greatest 
value of a public library is to present to private in- 
dividuals works, or collections of works, which they 
could not otherwise obtain; the points in which such a 
library should be particularly rich would be: i. Books 
of plates, etc. 2. Dictionaries, encyclopaedias, etc. 3. 


Periodicals. 4. Old and scarce works. 5. Foreign 
works." Mr. Windsor accepted the post of honorary 
librarian in 1858, and showed such zeal that his services 
were acknowledged four years later by the presentation 
of an address and a selection of books. In 1860 the 
library was enriched by Dr. Charles Clay's donation of 
obstetrical works, consisting of one thousand volumes. 
In 1863 the annual subscription was raised from one 
guinea to two guineas, and the increased fund enabled 
the committee to buy many valuable books. 

Dr. John Roberts succeeded Mr. Windsor in 1864, 
and held office for four years. In 1866 he prepared a 
complete alphabetical catalogue of the library, which 
was printed and distributed amongst the members in 
the form of an octavo volume of four hundred and sixty- 
two pages. A supplementary catalogue containing three 
hundred and ten pages was issued in 1872, having been 
prepared by Dr. C. Currie Ritchie. Dr. Cullingworth 
prepared a large reference catalogue in a folio volume, 
with leaves for manuscript additions. The increase of 
books and pamphlets now became large. In 1863 the 
total number, exclusive of pamphlets, was six thousand 
five hundred and ninety-four, in 1873 it was twelve 
thousand five hundred and twenty-seven, and this had 
been accomplished with an annual income of ^253, out 
of which sum the rent and all current expenses had to 
be deducted. In 1879 the number had increased to 
twenty-two thousand six hundred and twenty-three 
volumes, and in 1884 it was twenty-eight thousand one 
hundred and eighteen, exclusive of unbound pamphlets. 

A very moderate income judiciously laid out will do 
much to improve a library; it is obvious that this had 
been regarded in the case of the medical library. But 
its increase was not due to purchases alone ; there were 


frequent donations ; some have been mentioned, among 
others Mr. Thomas Windsor gave books every year 
between 1867 and 1878, the total amounting to one 
thousand six hundred and forty-two, and Sir James 
Bardsley gave four hundred and seventy-nine volumes. 

In 1883, Mr. Robert Holt, a well-known second-hand 
bookseller, of Shude Hill Market, bequeathed to the 
society the sum of .500 ordinary stock of the South- 
Eastern Railway, free from legacy duty. This realised 
.650, and forms a welcome endowment. 

In 1885 the society numbered two hundred and forty 
members, and is in a very prosperous condition. It has 
recently made an arrangement with the Manchester 
Literary and Philosophical Society to use their rooms 
as a place of call and meeting, from which they can by 
telephone order books to be sent from the college to 
George Street. Their monthly meetings are still held 
at the college. 

At a meeting of the council held September 4th, 1874, 
it was determined to purchase Messrs. Southam and 
Turner's interest in the old Pine Street premises for the 
sum of ,2,500, and to obtain from Mr. Southam, as sur- 
viving equitable lessee, a new assignment of his interest 
in the property. This was done, and the property was 
afterwards sold, the court approving of the transaction. 

In the month of August, 1874, the treasurer laid a 
very gloomy financial statement before the council. The 
first year's working expenses of the college amounted to 
,3,410 more than the income, and there was a debt of 
.22,000 on building account. It was necessary, there- 
fore, to raise a capital sum of ;8o,ooo to meet annual 
charge in addition to the building debt, or a total of 
; 1 02 ,000. This alarming state of things tempted the 
council to make an appeal to government for help. 


A memorandum, of which the following is an abstract, 
was presented to the Duke of Richmond, the Lord 
President, by a Conservative member of Parliament : 
i. The college makes provision for instruction in all 
branches of academical study except theology. 2. It 
offers the necessary guarantees, both to the government 
and to the public for its maintenance in full efficiency. 
3. It has existed for a quarter of a century, and its 
steady growth in numbers and in public estimation 
shows that it meets a real want in Lancashire and 
Cheshire, who regard it as the representative of univer- 
sity education, as shown by the large sum of 1 50,000 
contributed towards its extension within the last seven 
years. 5. It was, therefore, urged that a grant of 
public money might be made. A statement showing 
the number of the students was included. It was stated 
that although Owens College was not technically a 
university [this was always the stock excuse], it occu- 
pied a similar position in its own district to that which the 
University of Glasgow did in the west of Scotland. Its 
students took degrees in the University of London. 6. 
It was pointed out that Owens College possessed 
valuable and unusually complete collections in natural 
history and in geology, which were referred to in tones 
of approval in the fourth report of the Royal Commis- 
sion on Scientific Instruction. 

Were a grant to be made by government the council 
would proceed to build, and the museum, when com- 
pleted, would be thrown open free to the public. 
Nothing came of this application. It was generally 
understood that the government was willing to place 
Owens College in the same position as Edinburgh Uni- 
versity if it applied, but that through some misunder- 
standing this was not done. 



" I founde her [Lady Jane Grey], in her chamber, readinge Phcedon Platonis 
in Greeke, and that with as moch delite, as som ientlemen wold read a merie tale 
in Bocase. . . . 'And thus my booke,' said she, 'hath bene so moch my 
pleasure, and bringeth dayly to me more pleasure and more, that in respect of it, 
all other pleasures, in very deede, be but trifles and troubles unto me.'" ROGER 
ASCHAM, The Scholemaster, p. 47. Arber's Reprint. 

r I ^HE Owens College Act gave the governors power 
to admit women students (subject to certain 
specified conditions) to the classes of the college. The 
experiment was tried in 1874, and at the close of that 
year the Manchester Association for the Higher Educa- 
tion of Women passed a resolution to the council and 
senate expressive of their warm thanks for the accom- 
modation afforded to Professor Wilkins's class within 
the college, and at the same time respectfully entreated 
the authorities of the college to consider how far similar 
accommodation might be made available for some other, 
or for all the classes held under the sanction of the 
association for the south side of the town. 

Seventy ladies had attended the class. This was 
the beginning of a very important movement in the 
college, but the time was not ripe for its development. 
When the senate took the application into their consi- 
deration (January, 1875) they resolved that in their 
opinion it was undesirable to allow any classes over 
which the senate had no control, except under special 
circumstances, to be held in the college. 


Again : On an invitation being sent by the council to 
the senate in April (3Oth) following, to further consider 
the application of the association, it was resolved by the 
senate that they were unwilling to suggest or approve of 
any scheme for the education of women in Manchester 
which did not aim at a certain completeness. That 
should the committee of the association be willing to 
draw up a scheme of lectures corresponding to the 
demands of a thorough system of examination, the 
senate would be willing to give its best aid by advice 
through a committee or otherwise. It was expected 
that many members of the senate and lecturers of the 
college would individually cooperate as lecturers in such 
a scheme. Several professors of the college had 
declared their willingness to admit ladies as visitors, on 
particular application, to certain of their classes, pro- 
vided the sanction of the court and the council were 
given to such a course. 

A joint committee of the council and senate was ap- 
pointed to consider the subject. The council nominated 
the Treasurer, Messrs. Broadfield, Darbishire, and 
Thompson to represent them. The principal reported 
to the senate at their meeting, on May 22nd, on behalf 
of the joint committee, that the association had appointed 
a committee to consider and prepare a scheme of syste- 
matic lectures for women, and a committee to meet the 
joint committee in conference. The joint committee 
requested the senate to communicate a list of the classes 
proposed to be opened during the next session, with a 
draft scheme of regulations, and an expression of the 
views of the senate upon the proposal. 

The senate reported that it was expedient in the 
coming session that a certain select number of classes 
should be open to ladies as visitors, the claims of ladies 


so applying to be in every case adjudged upon by the 
professor concerned. The following professors signified 
their willingness to admit ladies as visitors, but desired 
that the committee should make a selection from the 
list: Professor Greenwood, Greek Testament; Professor 
Wilkins, Latin, and comparative philology; Professor 
Ward, English literature ; Professor Stewart, physics ; 
Professor Core, natural philosophy; Professor Jevons, 
logic, philosophy, and political economy ; Professor 
Roscoe, chemistry; Professor Dawkins, geology. 

The council requested the senate to consider and 
report on the proposal that a fee should be charged for 
each course of lectures to be delivered during the fol- 
lowing session. But before the new session commenced 
they passed a resolution, subject to the approval of the 
court, giving their sanction to the free admission of 
ladies as visitors, not as students, of the college, to the 
following courses of lectures during the session 1875-6: 
Comparative philology, English literature, physics, and 
political economy. In their report to the governors 
the council said they were satisfied that the time had 
not come, and they doubted whether it ever would 
come, when the ordinary class work of the college 
could be opened for junior students of both sexes. 
They were, however, agreed that a cautious experi- 
ment, such as that indicated in the recommendation of 
the senate, might fairly and reasonably be tried, and 
they recommended the court to sanction a measure so 
completely in accordance with the position of the college, 
as the leader and example of the higher intellectual 
development of the district, and with one of the objects 
of its reorganisation. 

On the ist June, 1876, the council approved of the 
women's college scheme as propounded by the senate. 


The senate proposed to undertake the supervision, 
control, and arrangement of the examinations, and the 
appointment of the examiners. They hoped during 
the term to communicate a scheme of examinations for 
the preliminary course, reserving to themselves the 
right of making such alterations in it as further con- 
siderations might suggest. It seemed premature to 
offer any scheme of examinations for the advanced 
course. The senate would shortly furnish a list of 
professors and lecturers who would be prepared to 
lend their assistance in carrying out the scheme of 
the women's college during the sessions 1877-8 and 
1878-9, without necessarily binding themselves to the 
holding of classes. 

At the meeting of the court of governors, on April 
nth, 1877, the Dean of Manchester (Dr. Cowie) pre- 
sented a memorial to the court from members of the 
Manchester Association for Promoting the Higher 
Education of Women, and others, in support of the 
motion of which he had given notice, viz.: "That the 
court is prepared to sanction the teaching of women in 
the college, under such regulations as to subjects, classes, 
discipline, and other matters as may be approved by 
the council and the senate." 

To this an amendment was moved: " That the court 
is deeply sensible of the importance of promoting the 
higher education of women, and is desirous, by all 
means in its power, of rendering such aid to a well- 
considered systematic scheme, as may be consistent 
with the primary duties of the college, and with the 
means at its disposal. That the court is not prepared 
to sanction the principle of mixed education, believing 
that this would be at once opposed to the true educa- 
tional interests of students of either sex, and out of 


harmony with the sentiments and usages of society. 
That the college has not at its disposal either the 
requisite space or pecuniary means for making separate 
provision for female classes ; but the court is prepared, 
so soon as the association shall have provided the neces- 
sary accommodation of class room and other appliances, 
to sanction the giving of substantial assistance, in the 
instruction and examination of women, by members of 
the college teaching staff, in accordance with the spirit 
of the resolution adopted by the council on the 3rd of 
March, 1876." 

The amendment was carried by a majority of twenty- 
one to five. 

A copy of the amendment was forwarded to the 
association, with the result that a committee was 
speedily formed, consisting of members of the asso- 
ciation and others, to consider the expediency of esta- 
blishing a college for women in Manchester and 
Salford. The advice and cooperation of the senate of 
Owens College was asked and cordially given. The 
scheme of the proposed college was communicated to 
the council, who were invited to give their sanction to 
a proposal that the senate should undertake the super- 
vision, control, and arrangement of the examinations 
and the appointment of the examiners, and also to the 
offer of certain professors and lecturers to take part in 
the teaching of the college during the years 1877-8 and 
1878-9. The council gave its sanction, subject to the 
provision by the authorities of the proposed college, of 
the necessary accommodation of class rooms and other 

The friends of the movement lost no time in carry- 
ing out their views to a practical issue. A women's 
college in Brunswick Street was opened in October, 


1877, and in June, 1878, a board of examiners, mem- 
bers of the teaching staffof Owens College and appointed 
by the senate, conducted the examinations and awarded 
certificates. In the first year the teaching for the most 
part was elementary, and indeed only preparatory ; the 
true work commenced the following session. The col- 
lege was supported by the contributions of its friends 
in addition to the fees paid by the students. At the 
outset it stood in no organic relation to Owens College, 
but some of the most active members of the council and 
the senate were members of its committee, and the 
greater part of the teaching was given by professors 
and lecturers of Owens College ; they, too, cooperated 
in determining the courses of instruction, and under-' 
took the supervision and control of the examinations 
and the appointment of examiners. 

At the senate meeting held i3th of November, 1880, 
Professor Adamson introduced the question of ad- 
mitting women students to some of the college classes, 
and moved that in the opinion of the senate it had 
become possible and desirable that women students 
should be admitted to certain classes of the college in 
the departments of arts and science under such regula- 
tions as might be approved from time to time by the 
council of the college; and the principal was requested 
to communicate this to the council. This was approved 
by the senate. 

The college had been in due course established, and 
had enjoyed under its purely provisional conditions a 
very satisfactory measure of success. But there were 
difficulties in the way, and the managing committee in 
December, 1880, addressed a memorial to the council 
of Owens College, praying that, in view of the difficulty 
of permanently keeping up any system of higher educa- 


tion without a fixed standard of examinations possessing 
a well-recognised value in the eyes of the public, and of 
the fact that the Victoria University had power to confer 
degrees and other distinctions on all persons, male or 
female, who had pursued a regular course of study in a 
college of the university, the council of Owens College 
would consider and recommend to the court of governors 
a scheme under which the Owens College might take 
such charge and control of the women's college as might 
seem desirable, and under which properly qualified 
students of the Manchester and Salford College for 
Women might be admitted to such courses of the Owens 
College as would enable such students to become can- 
didates for the degrees of the university. 

The memorial was referred to a committee, which 
reported to the council, who in their report to the court 
(April, 1882) said it was their desire to devise a scheme 
which, " without prejudice to the primary object of the 
Owens College, that is to say, the education of persons 
of the male sex, should satisfy the prayer of the memo- 
rialists that the college would take such charge and 
control of the women's college as might seem desirable, 
and as would enable properly qualified women students 
to become candidates for the degrees of the Victoria 
University." The council gave their anxious thought to 
the consideration of the subject, and also to the question 
of ways and means if the prayer of the memorialists was 
answered to their satisfaction. They requested the 
principal to ascertain what probability there was of any 
guarantee and its amount being given by the supporters 
of the Brunswick Street college, for the additional ex- 
pense the Owens College would be put to in taking over 
the Brunswick Street college. 

A special meeting of the court of governors was held 


on the 27th June, 1882, to receive the report of the coun- 
cil and the memorial of the committee of the women's 
college, and to pass resolutions. The memorial showed : 
i . That the committee had for the past three years been 
engaged in the endeavour to further the systematic 
higher education of women in Manchester and the sur- 
rounding district. 2. That the college was supported 
partly by voluntary subscriptions and partly by the 
fees of its students ; that the three years' subscrip- 
tions, etc., had amounted to ,4,400, and the fees paid 
to .724. 8s. r 6d. ; the total expenditure for the same 
period was ,3,552. 145. 3. That the college opened 
with thirty-eight students, and that it then numbered 
seventy -two students, attending eighteen classes in the 
following subjects : Greek, Latin, French, German, 
English language, English literature, history, algebra, 
geometry, political economy, and physiology ; that these 
classes were arranged in courses extending over three 
years of consecutive academic study, with an examina- 
tion held in each class at the end of each year. 4. That 
the teaching staff consisted of professors and lecturers 
of Owens College, the examiners being the senate, 
and the examination papers had been bound up in 
the Calendar of Owens College. The memorialists 
referred to the much higher standard of education they 
had raised, but said the expense was too great for 
them to bear long. This higher education had proved 
of great benefit to women, especially to those who 
were afterwards to be instructors of others. Victoria 
University had obtained the power to grant degrees to 
women who should have pursued a regular course of 
study in a college in the university, and who should 
submit themselves fof examination. 

The memorialists thought that a signal benefit would 


be conferred upon the district in which the Owens 
College had for some years been the recognised centre 
of higher education, and in which it then held the 
peculiar position of the only incorporated college of 
the Victoria University, if the council of the college 
were to signify their readiness to consider means for 
enabling students of the women's college to qualify as 
candidates for a Victoria University degree. This 
might be gained either by the college admitting the 
women's college as an integral department of the 
college, and providing for the students in such depart- 
ment courses of study, attendance upon which would 
qualify them for the Victoria degree ; or by the college 
admitting properly qualified students of the women's 
college to such courses of study in the college as might 
be approved by the council of the college, as would 
enable such students as students of the college in like 
manner to become candidates for the degrees of the 

The committee prepared a scheme for the council 
bearing upon the memorial, and in their report to the 
governors the council pointed out that the adoption by 
the college of the Brunswick Street institution would 
not only provide facilities for competent women stu- 
dents to graduate, but also make ample provision for 
the education in Brunswick Street of the much larger 
class of women who do not seek a university degree, 
and many of whom might be candidates for the uni- 
versity certificates of proficiency contemplated in the 
charter, and for which also membership of some college 
of the university is a condition. Some of the objec- 
tions raised at a former meeting of the court would be 
removed ; there would, however, be a heavy financial 
responsibility entailed by the adoption of the scheme. 


The court authorised the council : I. To enter into 
negociations with the managing committee of the Man- 
chester and Salford College for Women, in Brunswick 
Street, with a view to the transfer of that institution to 
Owens College, and, if it should think fit, to submit a 
scheme for such transfer, and for the future manage- 
ment of the women's college. II. To draw up, with 
the assistance of the senate, and to submit for the 
consideration of the court, a scheme of instruction for 
women students, including provision for : ( i ) Courses 
of instruction, to be given in Brunswick Street, pre- 
paring in whole or in part for the preliminary examina- 
tion of the Victoria University. (2) Courses of instruc- 
tion, to be given in Brunswick Street, sufficient to 
qualify women students who had passed the prelimi- 
nary examination for presenting themselves at the 
intermediate and final examinations ; provided that it 
should be in the discretion of the council to admit women 
students to such of the final classes, and of the classes 
which are concurrently intermediate and final, in Owens 
College proper, as it should think fit. 

The council's report was to include a statement on 
the provision of the probable cost of the scheme pro- 

The scheme of instruction as above indicated was 
adopted by the court at its meeting on April 3rd, 
1883 ; and the court also resolved : " That the council 
be authorised to enter on negociations with the manag- 
ing committee of the women's college for the transfer 
of that institution to the Owens College, and without 
further reference to the court, to accept such transfer, 
on the following conditions : " (a) That an annual sum 
of not less than ^"500 for a term of five years be con- 
tributed through the committee of the women's college. 


(b] That the women's college shall become a depart- 
ment of the Owens College, and be managed by the 
council of the college, (c) That if, in the judgment of 
the court, at the end of the term of five years the 
experiment shall not have had an adequate success, or 
the college shall not have at its disposal sufficient 
pecuniary means for carrying it on, or if during the five 
years the annual contributions shall not be paid, or for 
any other sufficient reason, the college shall be at liberty 
to abandon the experiment." 

On the 1 3th of June, 1883, the women's college was 
finally taken over and incorporated as a department of 
the Owens College on the terms and conditions pre- 
scribed in the resolutions of the court. The committee 
guaranteed to pay to the college the sum of ^500 
per annum for five years. A new class room was fitted 
up at Brunswick Street, and sundry additions were made 
for the more convenient accommodation of the students. 

Miss Edith C. Wilson was appointed to the office of 
assistant secretary and tutor in the department for 



" Our object in examining the stone, the rock, the lichen, the moss, the flower, 
the fruit, the insect, the bird, or the quadruped, is to exercise our faculties by 
learning how beautifully and with what wisdom all things have been constructed, 
how wonderfully they are formed with relation to each other, and how manifestly 
they display a power of which we could form no conception were we not to attend 
to its working as exhibited by them." The Natural History of Dee Side and 
Braemar. By WM. MACGILLIVRAY, LL.D., 1855, p. 120. 

TT is natural to the human mind to busy itself with 
* speculations about the future; but its horizon is so 
very limited, and its gaze so barren of result, that it 
tries to satisfy its cravings by studying the past. His- 
tory is insufficient ; its pages record but the later actions 
of men, and serve to make antecedent ages darker and 
more uncertain. The geologist and palaeontologist step 
in where the historian fails, and try to discover the 
condition of man when animals, long since extinct, 
were common in the land. Geology has thus a distinct 
interest for the student, but, in combination with 
mining, it has also a great commercial value. It was, 
therefore, a very appropriate subject for the earnest 
consideration of the council. The gift of the Natural 
History and of the Geological Societies' collections 
rendered it necessary for the council to find room for 
the storage of the objects, and for the appointment of 
an efficient curator. The senate had reported, so far 
back as May, 1872, that is when the old college was in 
occupation: "That in the opinion of the senate it is 


most desirable for the reasons stated in their reports on 
additional teaching power, that geology should be at 
once separated from the other branches of natural 
history. The incomplete provision, however, for the 
endowment of geology, and the consequent difficulty of 
defining the scope of the department and the functions 
of its director, in their opinion fully justify the council 
in at present instituting a lectureship and not a pro- 
fessorship of geology." 

Acting on this report, Mr. W. Boyd Dawkins, F.R.S., 
who was curator of the Natural History Museum, was 
unanimously appointed lecturer of geology. He had to 
superintend the removal of the objects from the Natural 
History Museum, in Peter Street, to Owens College. 
Unfortunately the birds and beasts had to be stowed 
away in upper rooms for want of space, but the geological 
collection was arranged in rooms in the basement, where, 
though unduly crowded, they can be examined by 
students and the public. 

In August, 1874, Mr. R. D. Darbishire had the 
gratification of announcing to the council that the 
museum was so nearly completed that it would be ready 
for the students' use at the beginning of the next session, 
and he suggested that " it should be opened with a 
soiree." This was agreed to, and it was arranged to 
invite the members of the Literary and Philosophical, 
the Geological, and the Scientific Students' Societies to 
the soiree in the names of the council and senate. 

On the 1 8th September, Mr. Darbishire was further 
able to state that he had received ample assurances of 
support at the reception, on the evening of October 2nd. 
He had arranged for an exhibition of choice specimens 
illustrative of the characteristic geology of the district, 
and of palaeolithic and neolithic implements ; and the 


committee of arrangement recommended that the whole 
college (except the attics) should be lighted and thrown 
open; that invited guests be permitted to bring ladies 
with them; and that as the collections which would be 
gathered together would probably be of considerable 
interest, the committee be allowed to exhibit them to 
the public on Saturday, October 3rd. All this was 
agreed to by the council. The meeting was a great 
success ; some one thousand four hundred persons 
attended. Messrs. Darbishire and Dawkins, with the 
assistance of friends, had got together a very interesting 
collection of " exhibits." It contained the fossil remains 
of extinct animals the mammoth, the cave lion, the red 
deer, and many others, with a large collection of palaeo- 
lithic implements. These from the river deposits. There 
was side by side with them an interesting collection of 
cave deposits. There was a large collection of fossil 
bones of bears, bisons, and reindeer from Windy 
Knoll. There were ancient mining tools stone axes, 
hammers, etc. from the copper mines at Alderley 
Edge ; and wooden and iron tools from Derbyshire. 
There were examples of local geology, including speci- 
mens of the flora from the coal measures, which were 
compared with living flowers and plants. 

On the 1 6th October, 1874, Mr. Dawkins was 
appointed professor of geology, palaeontology, and 
mining, with the same duties he had as lecturer, and 
the retention of the curatorship of the museum. The 
treasurer, the principal, with Messrs. Darbishire and 
Thompson, were appointed a committee to take steps 
to promote the further augmentation of the fund for 
providing more complete instruction in the college in 
the subjects of geology and mining. The first-named 
branch of science would be taught both as a necessary 


part of science instruction and in fulfilment of the agree- 
ment made to the donors of the museum. The latter 
subject had not hitherto received the attention it 

Newton, when quite a young man, had urged the 
value of the study of mining on his friend, F. Aston. 
He said : '" Observe the products of nature in several 
places, especially in mines, with the circumstances of 
mining and of extracting metals or minerals out of 
their oare, and of refining them ; and if you meet with 
any transmutations out of their own species into another, 
as ... out of one salt into another, those, above 
all, will be worth your noting, being the most luciferous, 
and many times lucriferous experiments too in philo- 
sophy." There might be some doubt about the " trans- 
mutations," but it was thought the public would 
understand the value of the " lucriferous experiments," 
and in their report to the council, which was printed for 
the court of governors, the committee stated that the 
governors were not able, from the funds then at their 
disposal, to undertake the charge of a geology and 
mining department on the scale on which alone, if it 
were to be successful, it should be maintained. They 
would, however, gladly find accommodation for it in the 
enlarged institution. 

From time to time during the extension of the Owens 
College, the need of founding a department for the 
instruction of those engaged in mining had been brought 
before the council by the advocates of systematic 
education for men of business. In the centre of the 
coal-mining interests of South Lancashire, and at no 
great distance from the coalfields of North Wales, 

1 Life of Sir Isaac Newton, by Sir D. Brewster, i., p. 388. 


Staffordshire, and Yorkshire, from the salt mines of 
Cheshire, the lead mines of Derbyshire, and the iron 
and copper mines of North Lancashire and Cumberland, 
Manchester offered peculiar advantages for the esta- 
blishment of a school where young men might receive 
a regular training in the science and arts of mining, in a 
course of instruction extending over two or more years. 
Among those advantages, not the least were the facility 
with which evening lectures might be attended by those 
actively employed in business, without interference with 
their daily work, and the fact that the area for the prac- 
tical application of the principles taught lay immediately 
around. From Manchester as a centre the professor 
would find little difficulty in taking his class to very 
various workings by which he would wish to illustrate 
and complete the work of the class room. The enor- 
mous and increasing magnitude of the mining interests 
rendered such a training every day more valuable, and 
the competition with foreign rivals rendered it absolutely 
necessary if British mining industries were to maintain 
their present relation with foreign rivals. 

For the establishment of a department of geology and 
mining on a firm and wide basis of knowledge, courses 
of chemistry, mechanics, engineering, and geology were 
necessary ; these the college could supply. They had 
excellent museums, and all the appliances of a chemical 
laboratory and of metallurgy ready to hand. What only 
was really wanted was an adequate endowment ; with 
this the student could obtain a complete training at 
Owens College ; without it he must go to the School of 
Mines in London, the Ecole de Mines at Paris, or the 
Mining School at Freiberg. The committee pointed 
out that " In Manchester as a centre the student would 
gain enormously by being in the midst of practical work ; 


and, on the other hand, the practical miner would have 
the singular advantages of scientific training and help 
close at hand. Amongst miners such as those who 
occupy this district, who in the mines themselves have 
painfully accumulated their great stores of experience, 
the student of the present day, fresh from the class 
room, cannot fail to find himself at a serious disad- 
vantage, unless he have accompanied his study with 
frequent and laborious actual work. For this probably 
no locality would be more favourable than that of 
South Lancashire." There had, in fact, been too much 
theory on one hand,, and too much " rule of thumb" on 
the other. 

Professor Ramsay, alluding to this subject, had written 
stating that no amount of ordinary practical teaching, 
such as is usually given in the offices of mining engi- 
neering, can compensate for the want of a thorough 
grounding in the purely theoretical parts of a great deal 
of what constitutes geological science. In proof of 
this, mining engineers, he said, were frequently obliged 
to apply for information and reports to purely scientific 
geologists who formed their conclusions on strictly 
scientific data, without any reference to their economic 

An appeal was made to the public, and prospectuses 
embodying the above were issued, with the further 
statement that the geological course was inadequate to 
the needs of the day, and must ultimately be extended 
so as to include practical applications on the one hand, 
and physiography on the other. The following scheme 
was suggested for a course extending over two years, 
as likely to meet all the needs of mining, engineering, 
and of the courses of study in the science and arts 
department, and the University of London. Subjects: 


(a) Physiography, (b) Stratigraphical geology, (c) 
Applied geology, (d) Palaeontology, (e) Petrology. 
The mining course was to extend to three years. 

The response to the appeal amounted to ,3,800, but 
it came from seven persons only. The movement hung 
fire. Professor Dawkins delivered lectures it is true, 
but they were not so numerous nor so well supported 
as he desired. When the senate came to make their 
report, in February, 1877, on the requirements of 
London University and their science examinations for 
degrees, and the position of Owens College in relation 
thereto, they found many things wanting, and said : 
" To carry out the new rules of the university it will be 
necessary to teach physical geography, which cannot 
be done within the limits of the present course, which 
is reduced to the smallest dimensions consistent with 
efficient teaching. It is appropriate, in view of future 
extensions, to remark that it is necessary for the higher 
education of engineers that applied geology should be 
taught in the college. That it can be taught with 
success has been proved by actual experiment." The 
report then showed in detail how it could be done. 
But nothing came of this till the close of the year, 
when Professor Dawkins urgently begged that the 
geological department might be placed on a similar 
footing with the other science chairs. The council had 
appealed to owners and workers of mines, but almost 
in vain. 1 Out of the vast mining district around Man- 
chester, only five noblemen and gentlemen having a 
personal interest in mining property contributed to the 
special fund ; and the total amount fell much below 
what was needed for a sufficient endowment of the 

1 See appendix iii. 


On the reception of Professor Dawkins's letters and 
the principal's report thereon, the council appointed a 
special committee to consider the whole question of the 
organisation of the geological department and the 
subjects referred to in the letter then read. They 
were to take the opinions of professors and others as 
they thought desirable and report to the council. The 
professor stated that he had been engaged to give two 
lectures weekly ; for four years he had, in justice to his 
subject, doubled that number. But this was not suffi- 
cient. To bring the teaching into harmony with existing 
wants there needed an extension of the course ; and 
this was irrespective of instruction in mining. Much 
more time would have to be given to the organisation 
of the geological museum. These points were outside 
the further question of the development of a mining 

In March, 1881, the senate proposed and the council 
sanctioned these extensions to meet the requirements 
for the proposed honours school in geology and 
mineralogy of the Victoria University, provided they 
did not lead to more expense with the teaching staff. 
The full development of the department of geology 
and mining has yet to be accomplished. It has, doubtless, 
suffered from the insufficient housing of the geological 
collection ; but this will speedily be rectified. The 
owners and workers of mines have suffered financially 
so very severely for many years, that an appeal for 
assistance could not be made to them with much pro- 
spect of success. It is to be hoped that these causes 
will pass away, and that the department of geology and 
mining may speedily take a position more worthy of 
itself and of the Owens College. 




"He wondered that your lordship 
Would suffer him to spend his youth at home, 
While other men, of slender reputation, , 
Put forth their sons to seek preferment out : 

Some to the studious universities." 

Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act i., sc. iii. 

" Owens College has worthily developed into the Victoria University. For- 
merly she depended for degrees on the University of London. No longer will she 
be like a moon reflecting cold and sickly rays from a distant luminary, for in 
future she will be a sun, a centre of intelligence, warming and illuminating the 
regions around her." Address by the Right Hon. Sir LYON PLAYFAIR, M.P., 
F.R.S., as President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 
Aberdeen Meeting, 1885. 

" I "HE growth of the college, in the number of its 
professors, lecturers, and students, in the nature 
and variety of its classes, in its buildings and endow- 
ments, in its local and general reputation, suggested 
still further development. It was expressly stated by 
Owens in his will, that he wished to found "an institu- 
tion for providing or aiding the means of instructing 
and improving young persons ... in such branches 
of learning and science as are now and may be hereafter 
usually taught in the English universities." The college 
had the germ of a university training at its opening ; a 
quarter of a century had so far developed it that it was 
a university to all intents and purposes, except in its 
machinery and its power of granting degrees. 


It had been frequently urged that Manchester was a 
fitting place for the seat of a university. 

On March 2oth, 1640 (1641, N.S.), Henry Fairfax 1 
sent a letter to his brother Ferdinando, the second 
Lord Fairfax, with a petition for presentation to the 
Long Parliament. 2 The following is a copy of the 

3 "May it please your Lordship, 

" I have here inclosed some propositions lately made at Man- 
chester, in a public meeting there, concerning an university; which, 
if you please to consider what good it may bring to our whole 
North, and other parts; what glory to the Parliament to be the 
founder of that, and what honour to your lordship to be the chief 
agent in it ; posterity may bless you, and the work itself will speak 
that the like hath not been in England (if Cambridge be the last), 
not of two thousand years. 

" Your Lordship's ever faithful and loving brother 

and servant, 


The petition enclosed to Lord Fairfax, with the fore- 
going letter, was this : 

" To the Right Honourable the High Court of Parliament, now 
assembled, the humble petition of the Nobility, Gentry, 
Clergy, Freeholders, and other inhabitants of the northern 
parts of England, 
" Humbly sheweth : 

" That whereas the want of an university in the northern parts of 
this kingdom, both in this and former ages, hath been apprehended a 
great prejudice to the kingdom in general, but a greater misery and 
unhappiness to these countries in particular, many ripe and hopeful 
wits being utterly lost for want of education, some being unable, 
others unwilling, to commit their children of tender and unsettled age 
so far from their own eyes, to the sole care and tuition of strangers : 

1 Fairfax Correspondence, ii., p. 271. 

*For an account of Ferdinando, see Markham's Life of the Great Lord 
Fairfax, pp. 35, 40. 8 Fairfax Correspondence, ii., pp. 271-4. 


We -therefore humbly crave leave to offer unto your pious care and 
wise consideration the necessity of a third university, and the con- 
venience of such a foundation in the town of Manchester, for the 
future advancement of piety and good learning amongst us. 

" First. In all humility we submit unto your grave judgments the 
consideration of the great distance of both universities from us; 
many parts of the countries wherein the petitioners are inhabitants 
lying above two hundred miles from Oxford or Cambridge, few under 
one hundred, insomuch that divers gentlemen are induced to send 
their sons to foreign universities, or else to allow them only country 

" Secondly. The great charges of the other universities, necessarily 
occasioned by the multitude of scholars; the dearth of provisions, 
the want of fuel and scarcity of lodgings, forcing many men of in- 
different and competent estates, able enough to maintain their 
children in another convenient place of the kingdom, either to debar 
them of university breeding, to make them servitors, or, at best, to 
allow them only two or three years' maintenance, and then to provide 
them of a country cure, or, which is worse, without any degrees, 
without university learning, to procure them holy orders, and so 
obtrude them upon the Church, which (we speak from sad experience) 
hath occasioned many ignorant and unlearned ministers amongst us. 

" Thirdly. The great hopes we have that from hence might issue 
able and learned men, laborious pastors and teachers, to convince 
and discourage Papists, and other superstitious people, who, for want 
of able scholars, daily take growth, and increase to the great hin- 
drance of piety and true religion. 

" Fourthly. The charitable intentions of these countries in general, 
more especially of some private gentlemen therein, who intend to be 
liberal benefactors for the provision and bringing up of the poor 
scholars of these parts, which now are either lost or burdensome to 
the other universities. This, therefore, we apprehend, might be a 
great ease, and no dishonour to them ; a blessing to us, and a benefit 
to the commonwealth, which otherwise will lose the gratuities of 
these gentlemen, they solely intending to bestow their munificence 
in this pious work, and no other. 

" Fifthly. The honour that might hence arise to these parts of the 
kingdom, which, by reason of their distance from the Court and 
universities, have suffered a double eclipse of honour and learning. 

Sixthly. We crave leave to certify that we apprehend Manchester 
to be the fittest place for such a foundation, it being almost the 


centre of these northern parts, a town of great antiquity, formerly 
both a city and a sanctuary, and now of great fame and ability, by 
the happy traffic of its inhabitants, for its situation, provision of food, 
fuel, and buildings, as happy as any town in the northern parts of the 
kingdom. To all this we add the convenience of the college there 
already built, 1 both large and ancient, and now, as we understand, 
intended to this purpose by the piety and munificence of the Right 
Honourable James Lord Strange, a noble encourager of this great 

" Upon these and what other grounds your greater wisdoms and 
judgments may dictate unto you, we humbly beseech you to take into 
consideration the necessity of this great and pious business." 

Lord Fairfax's reply was: 2 

" King-street, (London,) 

22nd March 1640-1. 
" To my very loving brother, Mr. Henry Fairfax at Ashton-Under- 

" Good Brother, 

" I have received your letter, and in it a petition for an university 
to be erected at Manchester, which cannot be done but by a bill in 
Parliament. The charge will be great about one hundred marks 
[;66. 133. 4d.]; and the effecting what is desired will be very uncer- 
tain. Those well affected to the now universities (which include, 
indeed, every member of our House,) will be in danger to oppose 
this. I should be most glad to have such a bill pass, as beneficial 
not only to that, but all the northern counties. I shall advise with 
the knights and burgesses of that county, and go the way they shall 
think fittest ; but I much fear a happy issue of it, especially now that 
the House has made an order to entertain no new matter till some 
of those great and many businesses we have grasped be ended, the 
chief whereof are my Lord Lieutenant's trial, 3 this day only entered 
into, which is like to hold one week ; the next will be my Lord of 
Canterbury's 4 trial, and with that, Episcopacy and Church-Govern- 
ment, etc. etc. " FER. FAIRFAX." 

1 Hugh Oldham's Grammar School. Cf. The History of Manchester School, 
by W. R. Whatton, pp. 923. 

* Fairfax Correspondence, ii., p. 180. 

* Wentworth, Earl of Strafford and Lord Lieutenant cf Ireland. 
4 Laud. 


Henry Fairfax again urged the matter of the 
university upon his brother's notice, suggesting that 
the promoters of the scheme would send a deputation 
to the council. x Lord Ferdinando replied on 2Oth April, 
1641, as under : 

2 " To my very loving brother, Mr. Henry Fairfax, at Ashton-under- 

Lyne, Lancashire. 
" Good Brother, 

" I have advised with divers gentlemen who serve for the counties 
of Lancashire and Chester, concerning an university at Manchester, 
but find them hopeless of having it. I gave the writings concerning 
that business to Mr. [Ralph] Ashton, 3 one of the knights for that 
county, to confer with the rest, who has not yet given me any answer. 
The way to effect it must be by bill, which will be a charge of one 
hundred marks at least, too much to be hazarded on so great an 
uncertainty ; and, therefore, I think it fittest to let that rest, and let 
none come to solicit it in this troublesome time, when all busi- 
nesses of the common, weal are at a stay, my Lord of Strafford 
still keeping us in play. ... If there be an open I shall let you 
know, etc., etc." 

The times were indeed unpropitious for founding 
universities. The Scotch pacification had been broken ; 
the Short Parliament had met and challenged the mili- 
tary charges and the levying of ship money; the second 
Bishop's War had seen the Scots in possession ok 
Newcastle and marching to the Tees; the Long Parlia- 
ment had assembled, and Strafford and Laud had been 
inpeached. Clearly these were no times for domestic 
legislation ; and when Cromwell was at leisure to give 
Manchester a member of Parliament, and to listen to 

1 Fairfax Correspondence , ii., p. 81. 

2 Henry Fairfax was uncle to the great Lord Fairfax, and was brought up to 
the Church. He was Rector of Newton Kyme in Yorkshire, then of Ashton- 
under-Lyne, and finally of Bolton Percy, which living he had to resign at the 
Restoration. He died 1665. See Markhatn, pp. 8, 57, 366, 389. 

3 Ralph Ashton was the acknowledged leader of the Parliamentary party in 
Lancashire. See Halley's Lancashire Puritanism, eft., i., p. 308, passim. 


the requests of the town, jealousy had done its work 
and rival claims had been put forward. York asserted 
its superior position, and tried to enforce it in two 
petitions. The first was ludicrously like that which had 
gone from, Manchester : there were the choice wits 
pining for a university education ; there was the long 
distance from Oxford and Cambridge ; there were the 
Papists to be confuted ; there was the cheapness of food 
and fuel; and there was the promised glory of the High 
Court of Parliament in founding a third university ; and, 
what was lacking in the Manchester petition, it was 
pointed out that Scotland " had long gloried in the hap- 
piness of enjoying the literature of four universities. ' 
In the second petition emphasis was laid upon the need 
of a trained ministry, and the very great calamity the 
Yorkists suffered for want of it, " insomuch that they 
had been looked upon as rude and almost barbarous 
people." Their young men were driven south to the 
universities, and, like Scotchmen, they never went 
back again. A reformation " of the northern parts, now 
abounding with popery, superstition, and profaneness 
the fruits of ignorance . . . cannot be expected 
^without a learned and painful ministry, which we almost 
despair of being supplied with from the south, whither 
we send many scholars, but find vestigia pauca retror- 
sum, and those for the most part such as others have 
refused." 1 The result of this rivalry was that neither 
town got its charter. Cromwell instituted the Univer- 
sity of Durham, and supported it out of the sequestered 
revenues of the dean and chapter. It was dissolved at 
the Restoration. 

The earlier pages of this book show that the subject 

1 Fairfax Correspondence, ii. 274-280. 


of a university was not lost sight of. It was mooted 
in 1789 and in 1836; Mr. Alexander Kay, in his 
pamphlet on the Hulme Trust, advocated the appro- 
priation of the income of the trust to the support of a 
university at Manchester; and the professors of Owens 
College, even in the days of its adversity, looked forward 
to a future university career for their students. 

Three causes made a change desirable: (i) the cost 
of a university training at Oxford or Cambridge was 
large and burdensome to men of moderate means or 
of large families; (2) the special training, the genius of 
those localities, unfitted youths for the drudgery of busi- 
ness ; (3) the examinations for matriculation and for 
degrees at London University were too severe, or too 
contrary to the previous training of the student. This 
last grievance was so strongly felt that the senate of 
Owens College, on I3th April, 1872, agreed to a report 
drawn up by a committee of their body: "That it is 
desirable that the senate should make representations 
to the senate of the University of London on the unsuit- 
able selection which it sometimes made of subjects for 
examination in the faculty of arts." The bitter com- 
plaint was that the questions put were not only very 
severe in themselves, but that they bore no relation to 
the subjects in which candidates had been trained ; or, 
in other words, that some of the examiners trotted out 
their hobbies irrespective of teachers or taught. 

On the 1 8th June, 1875, the principal asked per- 
mission of the council to communicate to them a 
pamphlet suggesting the enlargement of the college 
scheme into that of a local university, prepared by cer- 
tain members of the teaching staff of the college. This 
was the first official utterance on the subject, and its 
effect was startling ; the council,, in deferring the con- 


sideration of the proposal, requested that even private 
circulation of the pamphlet might be suspended. The 
pamphlet was formally presented in the name of the 
senate, and also one by Professor Morgan on " Medical 
Education at the Universities," to the council at their 
meeting, November iQth, 1875, but their consideration 
was deferred. 

Professor Morgan made out a very bad case for the 
medical men versus the universities. He said there 
were nineteen medical schools in England ; eleven of 
them in London and eight in the provincial towns. 
Whilst the training in these schools was good the diffi- 
culty of obtaining a degree was very great. Only four 
English universities Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, 
and London had the right of conferring a degree in 
medicine. How had these rights been used ? There 
were in England and Wales, in 1874, fourteen thousand 
one hundred and one practitioners of medicine ; of these 
practitioners, three thousand nine hundred and fifty- 
eight or 28 per cent were graduates of medicine 
entitled to affix M.B. or M.D. to their name. Owing 
to the difficulties and expenses incidental to obtaining 
degrees at Oxford, Cambridge, and Durham, only two 
hundred and thirty, out of fourteen thousand one hun- 
dred and one English practitioners, or 1*6 per cent of 
the whole had succeeded in obtaining them ! But 
there were three thousand two hundred and forty -one 
medical men practising in England who had obtained 
degrees ; no less than two thousand eight hundred and 
twenty-nine of these being from Scotch universities. 
Out of 28 per cent of the medical practitioners in all 
England who had graduated in medicine, 20 per cent 
had obtained their degrees in Scotland. This seemed 
to indicate that England had failed in her duty to the 


medical profession ; whereas every young Scotchman, 
who chose medicine as a profession, had the assurance 
that he could obtain an honourable degree in the country 
of his birth, where he intended to practise, and within 
comparatively easy reach of his own home. The 
course of study required at Oxford and at Cambridge 
was too long and too expensive for the majority of 
medical students. It would take a youth seven years 
before he could take his M.B. and commence practice, 
and three years more to take his M.D. ; the cost 
would be ,1,000 at the least, in addition to a school 
education. In London there was the disadvantage 
of a somewhat lengthy course, and of a too full cur- 
riculum; the student was expected to pass in a great 
variety of subjects, and whilst he might be very efficient 
in some of them he might have no natural aptitude for 
others. Dr. Latham had said, forty years previously, 
that there was only one man that he ever knew Dr. 
Thomas Young who was ever sufficiently learned and 
scientific for a physician, according to the Utopian 
measure of things, and much more was expected now 
than then ! Dr. Morgan had no hesitation in affirming 
that the examinations then insisted upon for the London 
degree were so severe that not more than 8 or 10 per 
cent of the young men who frequented the medical 
schools possessed either the brain capacity or had 
undergone the preparatory training which success 
demanded. Even though London University modi- 
fied her curriculum, another university in the north 
of England might with justice be claimed; and where 
could it be more conveniently situated than at Man- 
chester, with its vast population and its admirable 
educational appliances ? Dr. Morgan thought [this was 
in 1875] there was not at that time "a single university 


in England in which a young man could obtain a 
thoroughly-efficient medical education." A good medical 
school should be provided with from twenty-five to 
thirty teachers; the older universities fell far short of 
this requirement, and at London, where there were 
sufficient examiners, the important work of instruction 
was altogether delegated to affiliated schools and insti- 
tutions. These were surely weighty reasons in favour 
of founding a new university in the north of England. 
But the right of conferring medical degrees should be 
granted to such an institution only as could show that 
it did not suffer from these deficiencies. " Hence the 
new university must be situated in a populous town, 
and connected with a large hospital ; it must be pro- 
vided with a suitably constructed medical school, and 
with numerous and well-furnished laboratories ; it must 
possess a large and efficient staff of professors and 
lecturers ; and finally, it must be prepared to give 
guarantees that teaching rather than vending degrees 
will be its great object." All this Owens College could 

The other pamphlet referred to bore the signatures 
of Professors J. G. Greenwood, H. E. Roscoe, A. W. 
Ward, and J. E. Morgan. It is to the zeal and 
untiring devotion of these four gentlemen that Man- 
chester owes its university ; others cordially supported 
the movement, but they through five weary years placed 
their case before the public, removed prejudices, ad- 
vanced good arguments, and lived down opposition. 

The pamphlet dealt very fully with the whole 
project ; it advanced the arguments in favour, and met 
the objections in detail ; these may seem to have been 
stated with unnecessary fulness and urgency ; but it 
was necessary to arouse sympathy by conviction and 


to break down deep-seated prejudice. Assuming that 
the circumstances of time and place were alike appro- 
priate for the foundation in Manchester of a new 
national university, and that Owens College was at the 
time adequate as a place of education to such a posi- 
tion, the senate thought it unnecessary to prove the 
establishment of a new English university to be in 
itself a legitimate and desirable object. Illustrations, 
drawn from home and abroad, were given to show that 
the tendency was to increase rather than to limit the 
number of universities; a good thing if the standard 
were kept high. The idea of concentration, which had 
been advocated by some, was not acceptable. 

Already the demand for academical instruction could 
not be fully met by the teaching universities then in 
existence in England. In some branches they would 
remain preeminent, but not in others. University teach- 
ing was extending in the range of subjects, in some of 
which, such as the various branches of physical science, 
of engineering and mechanics, and of medicine, the older 
seats of learning had little or no advantage over more 
modern schools, or were placed in a positively disad- 
vantageous relation towards them. Thus, in the case 
of medical training, Oxford and Cambridge could not 
supply the invaluable adjunct of large hospitals near at 
hand. A new stratum of society, and a constantly 
increasing one, had been opened to the influences of 
university life, and it was absolutely necessary for the 
progress of the country at large, and for the greatness 
and security of its future, that means should be found 
for meeting the growing demand in question. 

Manchester had already done much good educational 
and scientific work; the foundation of a university in 
its midst would greatly contribute towards the impor- 


tant object of stimulating original powers and original 
work, and would beyond all doubt become the means 
of raising many minds which require nothing but such 
an opportunity for lifting themselves above their present 
sphere of thoughts and occupations. Nor was there 
any reason to regard Manchester as a place unsuitable 
for the prosecution of literary studies to the highest 
stage at which they could be carried on in a seat of 
learning. The city and district were in many ways 
genuinely though unostentatiously active in the direc- 
tion of literary research and of the encouragement of 
scholarship and letters as well as of the fine arts; and 
the history of the grammar school of late years showed 
what good materials existed for the training of scholars 
worthy of any university. 

Owens College was equal to the assumption of the 
position ; its history had persistently tended to this : 
the number and age of its students were sufficient and 
appropriate, and compared favourably with the Scotch 
universities. The system of teaching was adequate: 
in arts, it was little if at all behind the Scotch univer- 
sities in teaching power; in science, the organisation 
was as complete as that of any of the national univer- 
sities, and included a department of engineering absent 
from several of them. In medicine, the students were 
provided with opportunities of acquiring a thorough 
knowledge of all the subjects required for the pre- 
liminary examination. They then entered the medical 
department of the college, where, in buildings lately 
constructed on the most approved modern principles, 
they were supplied with every facility, not only of 
mastering the theory of their profession, but also for 
acquiring familiarity with the practical details of medical 
science. They had access to an admirable library, and 


to a spacious and well-constructed museum. Moreover 
they studied clinical medicine in the infirmary and its 
affiliated hospitals, containing together some five hun- 
dred and fifty beds, with the prospect of a large increase. 
[It should be noted that since the pamphlet was 
written the buildings in the medical department have 
been greatly extended, and no expense was spared to 
make everything thoroughly efficient and of the best 
possible kind. The professors of anatomy and phy- 
siology give the whole of their time to the work of 
their respective chairs. It is not surprising that the 
number of medical students is now threefold those at 
the amalgamation of the school with the college.] A 
law school had been established, and notwithstanding . 
the uncertainty of the future of legal education in the 
country, it was expected there would be a steady and 
increasing demand for instruction in English law, and 
in the principles of general jurisprudence. 

The pamphlet then reviewed the benefits to be 
expected from the change for the college itself ; there 
would be an elevation of tone and spirit in students 
and teachers as a consequence of the elevation of rank 
implied in the change. There would probably be an 
increase in the number of students and in influence 
upon the schools of the district. A more direct gain 
would accrue to Owens College by its becoming 
entitled to direct its own course of study, to furnish or 
appoint a fixed proportion of its own examiners, to 
determine its own examinations, and to grant its own 

There probably would be an increase of regular 
students, that is, of those who take the full three years' 
course; the numbers then were comparatively small, 
and there was a tendency still further to diminish. 


The college needed the power of organising and con- 
trolling its own system of examinations, so as to make 
them a test of its teaching, while at the same time, of 
course, seeking to maintain in the latter the highest 
possible standard. 

The disadvantages of the London University system 
were very great. The examinations for the ordinary 
degrees were unable, in consequence of the number of 
subjects included, to insist upon a sufficient accuracy 
and fulness of knowledge in some of the subjects, 
while in others a fair general knowledge was imper- 
fectly tested. There was always a great advantage to 
a town in having a university in its midst. In some 
part of the country it was very evident that the bulk 
of the students came from the neighbourhood of the 
university ; this was seen even at the older English 
universities. It would, therefore, be a great boon to 
the vast population in and around Manchester to have 
its local university, and the benefit would be especially 
felt by medical students seeking degrees. 

There were general advantages to be expected from 
a local university and its powers of giving degrees. 
Local recognition was of the utmost importance to 
schoolmasters. In general students would probably 
value more highly a degree if it attached them more 
closely to the place where they received their education 
than if granted by a body with which the degree con- 
stituted their only connection. The members of the 
learned professions resident in the district would, by 
the presence of a university among them, acquire a per- 
manent bond of union ; and in its graduates the univer- 
sity would have a steadily-increasing body of friends 
and supporters, familiar with its traditions and anxious 
to promote its prosperity. 


Objections would probably be raised that a degree 
conferred by a new university would be held in small 
esteem by the public at large. The reply, however, 
was, that in the long run the value of degrees in public 
estimation depended partly on the nature of the test 
they represented, partly on the results visibly achieved 
by those who had obtained them. The contempt which 
it was customary to throw on degrees granted by newly- 
established or less prominent universities had never 
endured, except in cases where those degrees had been 
improperly given or where the graduates of those 
universities had failed to obtain their share of literary 
and scientific distinction. There was no reason why 
the pass degree of Owens College should not be educa- 
tionally on a level with the pass degrees of Oxford, 
Cambridge, London, and the Scotch universities ; 
and, as compared with the London degree, it would 
imply, which the latter did not, a regular course of 
study. It would probably be objected that if Owens 
College were constituted a university, a claim to 
the same position might be set up elsewhere. The 
answer surely was : firstly, that possible difficulties 
of the future ought not to interfere with the just 
demands of the present ; and again, that in no other 
district in England could so strong a case be esta- 
blished for the foundation of a local university. Col- 
leges having a claim to university rank were not built 
up in a day. 

The senate were not insensible to the difficulties 
financial and otherwise which beset the college autho- 
rities; they were fully conscious of the need of their 
own undisturbed attention being given to their chairs, 
but they were notwithstanding of opinion that the time 
had come for all who had the interests of the college at 


heart to seek to obtain for the efforts which had raised it 
to its present position, and which had entitled it to look 
forward to a great future, the stamp of a national recog- 
nition ; and they believed that the grant of a university 
charter, with the acquisition of the powers and the 
dignity flowing from it, would go far to ensure to the 
college the prospect of a steady and orderly progress, 
and an increase of public support sufficient to render it, 
in fact as well as in name, a great national seat of 
learning, research, and education. 

At a meeting of the court of governors held on the 
3rd of October, 1876, a special report of the council 
was received and entered on the minutes ; and it was 
resolved : " That the court approving of the action 
taken by the council and the senate in collecting and 
circulating opinions on the propriety of seeking a uni- 
versity charter for the college remit to the following 
committee to report upon the whole subject to a special 
or ordinary meeting of the court, as may be found expe- 
dient," namely : The council : the Duke of Devon- 
shire, Messrs. Neild, Ashton, Greenwood, Barker, 
Broadfield, Christie, Dean Cowie, O. Heywood, Moulds- 
worth, H. J. Roby, J. Robinson, Joseph Thompson, 
H. E. Roscoe, J. Worthington; with the Lord Bishop 
of Manchester, Sir Joseph Whitworth, Hugh Birley, 
John Hopkinson, Alderman King, Professors Balfour 
Stewart and Ward, and Mr. Jack. 

The report of the special committee gave a historical 
sketch of the university movement, and said that the 
pamphlet embodying the views of the senate, accom- 
panied by Professor Morgan's paper on medical degrees, 
had been sent to about thirty gentlemen with a covering 
letter explaining the exact position of the question, and 
asking the favour of any observations the recipients 


might think proper to communicate. 1 Out of twenty- 
eight answers received, nineteen gave an unqualified 
assent to the propositions submitted, and of the remain- 
ing nine, several gave an approval more or less qualified. 
With the consent of the writers the letters were 
printed, and copies were sent of them, the pamphlet, 
and Dr. Morgan's paper, to the editors of several 
leading newspapers and magazines, in order to test the 
spirit in which the proposal was likely to be met by the 
general public. The result was that the documents 
were commented on in several of the leading journals. 
In many quarters the proposal was accepted and warmly 
advocated, in others objections had been taken, less to 
the principle involved than to its immediate acceptance 
those objections being often grounded either on a mis- 
apprehension of the nature of the scheme or on imperfect 
information as to the actual condition of the college. The 
instances in which the proposal was received in an un- 
friendly spirit were very few, and for the most part insig- 
nificant. Messrs. Greenwood, Roscoe, and Ward issued 
a pamphlet for the guidance of the committee, giving an 
analysis of the newspaper criticism of the scheme. 2 

'Replies came from Professor T. Andrews, M.D., F.R.S. (vice-president of 
Queen's College, Belfast), Matthew Arnold, D.C.L., Sir Benjamin Brodie, Bart., 
M.A., F.R.S., Professor Bryce, D.C.L., Rev. Principal Caird, D.D., W. B. 
Carpenter, C.B., M.D., LL.D., F.R.S., Rev. H. W. Cookson, D.D., Master of 
St. Peter's College, Cambridge; Professor E. Frankland, D.C.L., F.R.S., E. A. 
Freeman, D.C.L., LL.D., Professor W. B. Hodgson, LL.D., R. H. Hutton, 
M.A., Professor Huxley, F.R.S., William Jack, M.A., LL.D., E. A. Leatham, 
M.P., Sir John Lubbock, Bart., M.P., F.R.S., D.C.L., Professor Nichol, M.A., 
LL.D., Mark Pattison, B.D. (Rector of Lincoln College, Oxford), Right Hon. Dr. 
Lyon Playfair, M.P., F.R.S., Edmund Potter, F.R.S., D. C. Richmond, M.A. 
(one of the secretaries to the Charity Commission), H. J. Roby, M.A., Professor 
Rolleston, M.D., F.R.S., Hon. E. Lyulph Stanley, M.A., Dr. Allen Thomson, 
F.R.S., Sir W. Thomson, LL.D., F.R.S., Sir Joseph Whitworth, Bart., F.R.S., 
and Professor A. W. Williamson, M.D., F.R.S. 

2 There were replies from the following, those having an asterisk being favour- 
able : *The Daily News (i), *The Manchester Examiner and Times, *The Man- 


The council in their report upon the letters and 
newspaper articles gave a summary of the arguments 
brought forward by the professors. The main allega- 
tions of the pamphlets were four: (i) That South 
Lancashire and the neighbouring districts were wealthy 
and populous, and public spirited enough to deserve 
and to support a separate university as the agent and 
representative of the higher culture; (2) that Owens 
College was fairly adequate to the assumption of the 
more dignified position, whether regard be had to its 
past history and development, to the range and char- 
acter of its teaching, to its constitution academic and 
extra-academic, or (account being taken of its age) to 
the number of its teachers and students, and to the 
amount of its endowments : (3) that the elevation of 
rank could not fail to react most powerfully on the 
efficiency of the college in every direction, and to 
"greatly extend and strengthen its influence as an 
independent source of intellectual culture and activity 
in the district in which it is placed ;" and (4) that the 
existing relations of the college to the University of 
London were of a kind most seriously to thwart the 

Chester Evening News, *The Manchester Guardian, *The Scotsman, *The British 
Architect, The Academy, *Nature (i), *The Pall Mall Gazette, The Hour, 
* Nature (2), The Liverpool Daily Post, * Nature (3), * Capital and Labour, The 
Saturday Review, The Times, *The Daily News (2), * The Echo, * The Glasgow 
Herald, * The Mining Journal (i), * The Daily News ($), * The Mining Journal (2), 
*The Scotsman. The Daily News was very favourable. Professor Groom Robert- 
son, in Mind, adverted to the project, and showed at length that the influence of 
the then existing system of the London University examinations, and of its relation 
to teaching, had been such as to hinder and repress, instead of advancing, the 
progressive pursuit in England of one of the most important subjects of advanced 
university study. The Liverpool Daily Post gave the project its unqualified con- 
demnation, but it merely acted as the organ of those who opposed the scheme 
elsewhere. The Right Hon. Robert Lowe (Lord Sherbrooke) also condemned it 
in the pages of The Fortnightly Review; but the article was thought to abound 
more in smart writing than close reasoning, and had very much the appearance 
of a brief for the university he represented in Parliament. 


effective working of the college by preventing " that 
rapport between teaching and examining which is 
necessary to a thoroughly efficient system of instruc- 
tion," and, further, that " no changes of detail in the 
constitution of the university (whose high claims and 
great services are fully acknowledged) could meet the 
fundamental objection that, where the curriculum for 
degrees is fixed by a body of men, however able, 
among whom such a college as our own is wholly unre- 
presented, either the teachers in it must have their 
teaching determined for them, to the great loss of 
themselves and their pupils, and to the ultimate 
narrowing of academic life, or a very large proportion 
of the students, including some of the most promising, 
will fail to aim at a degree, and a still larger to seek 
honours." This last charge was of grave importance, 
but the council supported the professors in their views 
that, first, it was -a-fact that their efforts were to a very 
considerable degree impeded by " the necessity of con- 
forming even in details to a rigid system imposed upon 
them from without ;" and, secondly, as to the belief 
that so long as they were so fettered the college could 
not hope to "develope into a school of thought, 
research, and study," with an independent and charac- 
teristic life of its own, stimulating and in turn stimu- 
lated by the intellectual life of the district. 

Of the objections that had been raised to the scheme 
the most forcible seemed to be that, in the conferring 
of degrees, teachers should not have the uncontrolled 
examination of their own pupils in other words, that 
the public would have the right to demand the amplest 
guarantees of the value of the degrees conferred. This 
principle was avowed in the original statement of the 
professors, but a scheme of a more rigid character had 


been suggested, namely, that Owens College should 
not itself be created into a university, but that a univer- 
sity of Manchester should be created by the side of the 
college, in which the college would be so represented 
as to secure that independence which was most earnestly 

A special meeting of the court of governors was held 
on 22nd of March, 1877, the president of the college 
(His Grace the Duke of Devonshire) in the chair, to 
receive a report of the committee, and to take action 
thereon. The report reviewed the work done by the 
committee during the preceding six months, and said 
the committee were led to the conclusion that the pro- 
posal of seeking a university charter for Owens College 
was well founded, and that the objections taken to it 
admitted of sufficient answers ; they thought the time 
was convenient to make the proposal, and that a con- 
tinuance of the existing system was not only likely to. 
increase the serious inconveniences arising out of it for 
the work of the college, but might render the execution 
of such a proposal more rather than less difficult in the 
future. Certain changes would be requisite in the col- 
lege if it were raised to the rank of a university. They 
were : the creation of an executive body for university 
purposes, and that room should be left in the constitu- 
tion of the university for the union or affiliation with it 
of other colleges. In the appendices these views were 
given in detail. The court resolved, on a majority of 
twenty-one votes for and two against the motion : " That 
the report of the committee be adopted, and that it is 
expedient to take such steps as may be calculated to 
promote the success of the proposal to seek for Owens 
College a charter as a university granting degrees." 

An influential deputation waited upon the Lord 


President of the Council (the Duke of Richmond and 
Gordon), with whom were Lord Sandon and Sir Francis 
Sandford, on the 2Oth July, 1877, to present to the 
Privy Council, through him, a memorial praying for the 
grant of a charter to the Owens College, conferring 
upon it the rank of a university, to be called the 
University of Manchester, and having the power to 
grant its own degrees in the faculties of arts, science, 
medicine, and law. The memorial recapitulated the 
arguments which had been used so frequently before, 
and gave a history of the rise and progress of the 
Owens College ; of the increase in the number of the 
students and of their age ; of the original endowment 
and the large sums that had been given or bequeathed 
to supplement Owens's bequest ; of the fitness of Man- 
chester as the centre of a large, industrious, and intel- 
ligent population to sustain and be benefited by a 
university. The memorial was supported by speeches 
from Sir Thomas Bazley, M.P.; Hugh Birley, M.P.; 
J. T. Hibbert, M.P.; A. Neild (the treasurer of the 
college) ; Dr. Greenwood ; Professor Ward ; Lord 
Aberdare ; the Bishop of Manchester ; the Mayor of 
Manchester ; and Lord Frederick Cavendish (on behalf 
of his father, the Duke of Devonshire). 

The Duke of Richmond and Gordon, in reply, said it 
had been peculiarly interesting to him to listen to the 
statements made by the speakers of that most influen- 
tial deputation. He cordially agreed with much that 
had been said. He quite concurred in the statement 

made by Dr. Acland, " one of the most able men of 
the day, and president of the Medical Council, as to 
the peculiar facilities which they had in Manchester 
for the purpose of medical study, because he (the duke) 
was informed that the hospitals in Manchester would 


yield in importance and merit to none in the country, 
and therefore with regard to the medical education 
which might be got there the students would have the 
advantage of all the appliances which so large a school 
would be able to furnish. With respect to the govern- 
ment of the university, he saw that only one represen- 
tative of the government was mentioned ; he thought 
that scarcely sufficient. What the memorialists asked 
for was most important, and was beyond the power of 
any one minister to grant or decide upon ; it would have 
to be discussed and inquired into by the united wisdom 
of the cabinet, and after they had discussed and consi- 
dered the matter they would then, of course, be anxious 
to do that which they believed would be best for the 
country at large. He promised to lay the memorial 
before the cabinet, with the assurance that they would 
give it their most attentive and best consideration. 

The memorial was supported by memorials of like 
purport from the corporations of Manchester and Salford, 
and of the following towns : Blackburn, Bolton, Burnley, 
Bury, Clitheroe, Oldham, Rochdale, Southport, Stock- 
port, and Warrington ; also by memorials from the 
bishop, dean, archdeacon, and clergy of the parish of 
Manchester, the Lancashire Independent College, the 
Wesleyan College, and the Incorporated Law Society 
of Manchester. Later there were memorials sent by 
the corporations of Barrow-in-Furness, Halifax, Lan- 
caster, and Stalybridge, the Manchester Scientific and 
Mechanical Society, and the Manchester Scientific 
Students' Society. 

The council of the college profited by the Duke of 
Richmond's hint, and before the year was out presented 
a further memorial with respect to a suggested enlarge- 
ment of the governing body; it was to a large extent 


based upon the arrangement for selecting the governing 
body of Owens College. The original selection was 
much too small; this was too large, and a middle 
course was ultimately adopted. 

But while the privy council were taking the memo- 
rial into consideration, opposition was set up by the 
authorities of the Yorkshire College. On the i5th 
May, 1878, a numerous deputation, organised by the 
council of the Leeds College, waited upon the Lord 
President of the Council, and presented to him a memo- 
rial praying that Her Majesty, if pleased to create a 
new university, should be advised: "(i) Not to grant 
the charter to the Owens College, Manchester, but to 
a new corporation with powers to incorporate the 
Owens College, and such other institutions as may now 
or hereafter be able to fulfil the conditions of incorpora- 
tion laid down in the charter. (2) Not to confer upon 
the said university the name of a town or of any person 
whose claims to such distinction are merely local." 

Here, then, was a direct blow at the project for 
making a Manchester university. The opposition 
seemed the harder because the Yorkshire College was 
so very far from being in a condition to become a 
university itself, or to be associated with another. The 
opposition was sufficiently serious, for although it was 
not based upon accurate knowledge, it was such as 
to afford the government a natural and justifiable 
reason for delaying a decision on the subject. The 
opponents had an interview,, at which the Chancellor of 
the Exchequer (Sir S. Northcote) was present, with 
the Lord President on May I5th, and the committee of 
Owens College thought it desirable to come to an 
understanding with them if possible. It was thought 
best to bring about such an understanding in the first 


instance by means of a private and personal interview 
between some of the gentlemen who on either side had 
taken an active part in the matter, or were specially 
interested in it. By the kindness of the Duke of 
Devonshire, a conference was held at Devonshire 
House on July 2nd, over which his grace presided. 
There were present : Viscount Cardwell, Lord Frede- 
rick Cavendish, M.P., Mr. J. T. Hibbert, M.P., Mr. 
Birley, M.P., Mr. Rathbone, M.P., Mr. Ashton, Dr. 
Greenwood, Professor Ward, the Rev. Dr. Gott, Dr. 
Heaton, Professor Riicker. The views of both sides 
were fully discussed, and an informal minute was 
recorded, that to the gentlemen there present acting in 
a private capacity it seemed a sound basis for a final 
scheme in case of the formation of a new university : 
" That a charter be granted to a governing body 
entitled the court of governors of the university, on 
which at first the governing body of the Owens College 
and subsequently the governors of [that and] other 
confederated colleges collectively should have prepon- 
derating influence." 

The Leeds committee subsequently passed the fol- 
lowing resolutions, which they forwarded in writing : 
" That this committee is prepared to enter into corre- 
spondence with the authorities of the Owens College, 
with a view to agree to a scheme for the institution of 
the university: ist. Upon the basis of the resolution 
passed at the meeting held at Devonshire House, July 
2nd, 1878. 2nd. On condition that: (a) No local title 
be given to the university ; (6) The government nomi- 
nees form a substantial element in the constitution of 
the governing body." The first suggestion (a] was not 
acceptable to the Owens College committee ; nor were 
all the proposals which the Yorkshire committee after- 


wards forwarded to Manchester ; it was, however, 
agreed by the committee of the council that they would 
carefully revise the whole scheme and report thereon to 
the court. 

On the 7th April, 1879, the committee drew up a 
report, which they presented to the court at their 
meeting on the 22nd of the same month. They stated 
that since the last meeting of the court they had carried 
on active negociations with the council of the Yorkshire 
College, (i) with the object of drawing up a revised 
scheme of suggestions as to a basis of a constitution for 
the proposed university, which should be acceptable 
both to the Owens College and to the Yorkshire Col- 
lege, and the interests represented by the latter ; and 
(2) of coming to an understanding as to the question of 
the name to be suggested for the proposed university. 

On both those heads a complete agreement had now 
been arrived at. i. In the opinion of all those who 
supported the movement for a new university, the 
objects to secure were that in the proposed university 
degrees should not be conferred upon any but academi- 
cally trained students, and that to the college or colleges 
incorporated in the proposed university should be 
secured a legitimate share of influence in determining 
its curricula of study and conducting its examinations. 
(a) As regarded the government of the proposed univer- 
sity, they followed the principle that the representation 
of the colleges incorporated with it on its governing 
and executive bodies should be in proportion to their 
relative magnitude and efficiency. The government 
were to be fairly represented by their nominees, but the 
Owens College, and the other colleges when they 
became incorporated, should collectively have prepon- 
derating influence. The Yorkshire committee agreed 


that the Owens College should be named in the charter 
establishing the university as the first college in it ; that 
the president and the principal of the Owens College 
should be the first chancellor and vice-chancellor of the 
new university; that its locus should be in Manchester; 
and that in the system of proportionate representation 
proposed for the governing and the executive bodies of 
the university, the Owens College should in either case 
begin with the maximum number of representatives 
allowed by the scheme. (<$) As regarded examinations 
and examiners, the agreement was similar to that already 
advocated by the Owens College promoters. The senate 
recommended the appointment of boards of studies, to 
consist of the professors and lecturers of the college or 
colleges of the university, together with the external 
examiners during the period of their appointments. 
2. The committee had taken into consideration the 
opinion "strongly and repeatedly urged by the repre- 
sentatives of the Yorkshire College," "that public feeling 
would be actively aroused in Yorkshire against the 
granting of a charter to a body under the designation 
of the university of Manchester; but that if the Owens 
College authorities would abandon the idea of a local 
name, cordial support might be expected in the same 
quarter for the scheme now virtually agreed to." The 
committee yielded upon this point, and concluded in 
addressing the privy council to suggest that the name 
of Her Majesty, with the Queen's gracious assent, be 
associated with it, under the style and title of the 
Victoria University, Manchester. 

It was agreed, both by the authorities of the Owens 
College and of the Yorkshire College, to present similar 
memorials and suggestions as to the basis of a constitu- 
tion to the Lord President, praying their lordships of 


the privy council to advise Her Majesty to grant a 
charter to a body of persons appointed as described in 
the memorial, constituting a university to be called the 
Victoria University, and having the power to grant its 
own degrees in the faculties of arts, science, medicine, 
and law. The court approved the action of the com- 
mittee, and requested it to make arrangements for the 
presentation of the memorial to the Lord President of 
the Privy Council at as early a date as possible, and for 
carrying out the other suggestions of the report. 

On the 1 5th of May, 1879, a joint deputation waited 
upon the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, who was 
accompanied by the Marquess of Salisbury (Secretary 
of State for Foreign Affairs, and Chancellor of the 
University of Oxford). The deputation was headed by 
the Duke of Devonshire (Chancellor of the University 
of Cambridge), as president of the Owens College, and 
by the Archbishop of York, as connected with the 
Yorkshire College. It was attended by a large number 
of noblemen and gentlemen of influence from Lanca- 
shire and Yorkshire ; by representatives of the clergy 
and ministers of different denominations ; of the munici- 
palities ; and of other bodies or institutions belonging 
to the two counties and neighbouring districts, as well 
as by other gentlemen connected with or interested in 
higher education. The presidents of the colleges and 
others spoke in support of the prayer of the memorials, 
and the deputation received the usual promise " that 
the proposal should have the most attentive considera- 
tion of Her Majesty's government." 

On June 3Oth, in reply to questions put by Lord 
Winmarleigh in the House of Lords, and by Mr. 
Birley in the House of Commons, it was stated by 
the Duke of Richmond and the Chancellor of the 


Exchequer that Her Majesty had been advised to 
grant the request of the memorialists for a charter to 
a northern university to be called the Victoria Uni- 

Three days later a letter was received by the parlia- 
mentary agents from the privy council office, stating 
that the Lord President requested to be furnished with 
the draft of a charter for carrying into effect the prayer 
of the colleges which had recently memorialised him, 
in order that this draft might be submitted for their 
consideration to a committee of the lords of the council. 
Mr. Alfred Hopkinson, professor of law and jurispru- 
dence at Owens College, was instructed to prepare a 
draft charter, and a sub-committee representing the 
two colleges was appointed to consider it. Time was 
precious, and the arrangement was somewhat hastily 
arrived at. Two points were objected to by the York- 
shire representatives ; one had reference to the proposed 
preamble of the draft constitution, but was subse- 
quently waived by them ; the other was that they dis- 
avowed any wish that power to confer degrees in 
medicine should be granted to the proposed university. 
Under the circumstances it was agreed to send up 
together with the draft constitution a brief note con- 
taining the observations of the two colleges on these 
points. It was, however, pointed out by the agents 
that no observations of any kind would be received by 
the privy council with the draft charter, which was 
accordingly sent in without any such observations. 
The Yorkshire College authorities agreed to this course, 
but requested their president privately to inform the 
Lord President of the Council of their disavowal of 
any wish that the Victoria University should possess 
the power of granting degrees in medicine or surgery. 


This was a great annoyance. The Owens College 
had a large and rapidly increasing medical school, with 
a prospect of much further development. During its 
last session 1878-9 it had two hundred and ten medical 
students, and in his report of the session the dean of the 
school drew " attention to the very remarkable success 
of our students in the examinations of the University 
of London a success which I believe to be unparalleled 
in the history of our own or any other non-metro- 
politan school of medicine." This objection on the 
part of the Leeds college stimulated others to oppose, 
and a memorial, bearing the names of the presidents of 
the London College of Surgeons and of the British 
Medical Association, and those of a great number of 
the leading hospital surgeons and teachers of London 
and the other teaching centres of England, was sent to 
the privy council in opposition to the Victoria Univer- 
sity having power given it to grant medical degrees. 
The reasons alleged by the memorialists were: First, 
" That there already exist nineteen such corporations. 
Second, That the competition arising out of this number 
of licensing bodies is detrimental to the public and the 
medical profession, as tending to lower the standard of 
medical qualification. Third, That the Manchester 
School of Medicine has no superior claims over other 
schools in London and the provinces which can entitle 
it to such a special distinction as that of conferring 
degrees to practice medicine or surgery." 

Dr. Morgan had shown, in his pamphlet two years 
before, how fallacious these assertions were. But this 
did not avail. The clerk to the privy council pointed 
to the numerous and weighty petitions against the 
measure, and added that the promoters of the Victoria 
University could not fail to be aware that the bill then 


before Parliament contemplated, inter alia, the with- 
drawal of a licensing power from all existing universities 
and medical corporations, and that the promoters would 
readily understand the difficulty which the lords of the 
council would feel in advising Her Majesty to confer 
such a power on an entirely new authority. Under the 
circumstances, therefore, the clerk was instructed by 
their lordships to state that they would not feel them- 
selves justified in proceeding with the further considera- 
tion of the draft charter for the Victoria University, 
unless its promoters were ready to agree to the insertion 
of a clause excepting the power of granting degrees in 
medicine and surgery from the degree-giving power 
contemplated in the proposed charter. 

On the receipt of this very serious statement, the 
most anxious endeavours were used to clear the position 
of the Owens College, and it was again pointed out that 
in seeking powers to confer degrees in medicine the 
object of the promoters was to be enabled to give a 
degree which should imply both a sound training in 
arts and science and a very high standard of strictly 
professional attainment. They desired to recognise fully 
the distinction between that minimum of attainment 
which should be exacted as giving a title to practise 
and that high standard of training and knowledge which 
should alone qualify for a university degree. They wished 
and hailed with satisfaction the prospect of the establish- 
ment of a single and uniform qualification for practice in 
the United Kingdom. On the other hand, the power to 
confer high academical distinction in medicine would, in 
their opinion, have the most wholesome influence in the 
training of medical students in a part of the kingdom 
which possessed several medical schools of acknowledged 
reputation. It would be seen that the section expressly 


provided that the university should have power to 
receive certificates of attendance on lectures and hos- 
pital practice from any duly qualified medical school. 

Much judicious pressure was used in the attempt to 
get their lordships' decision reversed, but in vain ; they 
felt it necessary to adhere to their opinion that it was 
undesirable to add to the number of bodies entitled to 
grant medical degrees at a time when the whole ques- 
tion of medical education and examination was under 
the consideration of Parliament. The committee of the 
Owens College, acting also by the advice of their par- 
liamentary agents, came to the conclusion that this 
decision of the privy council was final. They also 
thought that if the Victoria University were established, 
and so soon as the question of medical education and 
examination should have arrived at a legislative settle- 
ment, the claims of Victoria University to be placed on 
an equality with other universities would be irresistible. 
They therefore instructed their agents to withdraw the 
medical degree clauses from the draft charter. This 
action met with the full approval of the persons of par- 
liamentary experience who were consulted. 

In taking the opinion of Mr. Reilly, the counsel for 
the college, he pointed out that, by a recent Act, any 
application for a charter for the foundation of a college 
or university must be laid before both Houses of Par- 
liament for thirty days before any report on the subject 
could be submitted to Her Majesty. This was fatal to 
the measure for the current session of Parliament. 

On the presentation of the report to the court of gover- 
nors, they approved the action of the committee, and 
resolved : " That the court approves of the action of 
the committee on the application for a university charter, 
and requests the committee to use its best endeavours 


to secure the grant of a charter for the proposed uni- 
versity on the basis of the draft laid before the court 
with the report of the committee." It was also resolved : 
" That the court requests the committee to take every 
step which may seem desirable for ultimately securing 
to the Victoria University the right of granting medical 
degrees conveying the same powers as those attaching 
to the medical degrees of the other universities of the 
United Kingdom, which right the court regards as one 
which should not be otherwise than temporarily dis- 
pensed with by the Victoria University." 

Suitable action to obtain a favourable result was 
taken, and on the 6th April, 1880, the committee had 
the satisfaction of reporting to the court that on the 
1 8th of March, Her Majesty in council gave her 
approval to the charter of the Victoria University. 
Owing to certain formalities having to be observed, 
this was not ratified till 2Oth April, 1880. 

A special meeting of the court of governors was 
held on the 25th May, 1880, when the royal charter 
creating a university and constituting the Owens College 
a college therein was produced by Dr. Greenwood, the 
vice-chancellor of the university, and read. The court 
accepted with satisfaction the position assigned to the 
college under the charter, and it was resolved : " That, 
in pursuance of the provisions in this behalf of the 
charter, this court, as the governing body of the Owens 
College, do hereby choose and appoint the twelve 
persons hereinafter named, to be (together with the 
president [the Duke of Devonshire], the chairman of 
the council [Mr. Neild], the principal [Dr. Greenwood], 
and the persons to be chosen by the senate of the 
Owens College) the representatives of this college in 
the court of the Victoria University, namely: Thomas 


Ashton, Hugh Birley, M.P., Jacob Bright, M.P., 
Edward John Broadfield, B. A., Richard Copley Christie, 
M.A., the Very Rev. B. M. Cowie, B.D., Dean of 
Manchester ; Oliver Hey wood, William Henry Houlds- 
worth, William Rathbone, John Robinson, Joseph 
Thompson, Sir Joseph Whitworth, Bart. 

The following is a complete list of the first univer- 
sity court: The Chancellor (the Duke of Devonshire, 
K.G.); the Vice-Chancellor (J. G. Greenwood, B.A., 
LL.D.); the Archbishop of York; the Marquess of 
Ripon ; the Earl of Derby ; Lord F. C. Cavendish, 
M.P. ; the Bishop of Manchester ; Lord Winmarleigh ; 
Right Hon. W. E. Forster, M.P.; Rev. Mark Pattison, 
B.D., rector of Lincoln Col., Oxford; J. P. Joule, 
LL.D., F.R.S.; Rev. John Gott, D.D., vicar of Leeds ; 
Edward Baines; William Bowman, F.R.S. (The above 
nominated in the charter.) Thomas Ashton ; Hugh 
Birley, M.P.; Jacob Bright, M.P.; E. J. Broadfield, 
B. A. ; Chancellor R. C. Christie, M.A. ; Very Rev. B. 
M. Cowie, B.D., Dean of Manchester; Oliver Heywood; 
W. H. Houlds worth ; W. Rathbone ; John Robinson ; 
Joseph Thompson ; Sir Joseph Whitworth, Bart. 
(Members nominated by the Owens College court.) 
Professor A. W. Ward, LL.D.; Professor J. H. 
Poynting, M.A. ; Professor Alfred Hopkinson, B.C.L. ; 
William Summers, M.A., M.P. (Nominated by con- 
vocation.) Professor Osborne Reynolds, M.A., F.R.S. ; 
Professor H. E. Roscoe, F.R.S.; Professor T. Barker, 
M.A.; Professor A. Gamgee, M.A., F.R.S. (Nomi- 
nated by the senate of Owens College.) Samuel Dill, 
M.A.; J. T. Hibbert, M.A., M.P.; Walter Morrison. 
(Nominated by the chancellor.) Alfred Neild, treasurer 
of Owens College. 

The corporation of Manchester desired to give ex- 


pression to the satisfaction felt by the citizens on the 
establishment of a university in their city. A special 
meeting of the council was held, July i4th, 1880, for 
the purpose of adopting a memorial for presentation to 
the Duke of Devonshire, as chancellor of the university. 
The mayor (Alderman H. Patteson) presided, and there 
was a large attendance. The following address was 
unanimously adopted : 

"To His Grace the Duke of Devonshire, K.G., Chancellor of the 
Victoria University, Manchester. 

" May it please your Grace, 

" We, the mayor, aldermen, and citizens of the city of Manchester, 
in the county of Lancaster, in council assembled, most heartily con- 
gratulate you upon the auspicious event of this day the inaugura- 
tion of the Victoria University, over which your grace will preside as 
its first chancellor. 

"It is especially gratifying to us to receive your grace in your 
double capacity as head of one of our older universities and of our 
newest university, uniting the old learning with the new, and the 
ancient seat of culture with its most modern form of development. 
While you must be proud of those illustrious members of your noble 
house a great chemist and a great lawyer who have shed lustre 
upon the teaching of the University of Cambridge, we are well aware 
of the deep interest your grace takes in the metallurgical and textile 
trades which have enriched our county. 

" Through you we desire to express our loyal and heartfelt grati- 
tude to Her Majesty the Queen, that Her Majesty in council has 
been pleased to grant a charter of incorporation of a university for 
her faithful subjects in this part of her dominions, and that she has 
graciously determined to place it in our city. 

" The desire to establish a university in Manchester is not new. 
Two hundred and forty years ago certain ' propositions,' we are told, 
' were made at Manchester, in a public meeting there, concerning an 
university,' and in a petition to the Long Parliament it was humbly 
shown ' That whereas the want of an university in the northern 
parts of this kingdom, both in this and former ages, hath been appre- 
hended a great prejudice to the kingdom in general, but a greater 
misery and unhappiness to these countries in particular, many ripe 


and hopeful wits being utterly lost for want of education some 
being unable, others unwilling, to commit their children of tender 
and unsettled age so far from their own eyes, to the sole care and 
tuition of strangers.' 

" The petitioners, with a force of argument that is applicable to-day, 
also craved leave to certify that ' Manchester was the fittest place for 
such a foundation, it being almost the centre of these northern parts 
a town of great antiquity, formerly both a city and a sanctuary, and 
now of great fame and ability, by the happy traffic of its inhabitants, 
for its situation, provision of food, fuel and buildings, as happy as any 
town in the northern parts of the kingdom.' 

" The attempt, although supported by the noble houses of Stanley 
and Fairfax, failed. In later times one of our own number 
Alderman Kay in seeking to reform an important trust, hoped 
that the surplus might be devoted to the support of a college and 

"We also congratulate your grace, as president of the Owens Col- 
lege, upon the great influence which that college had in bringing 
about the desired result. 

"The citizens of Manchester are proud of a college which has 
effected so much good among them; which has so greatly raised the 
intellectual standard of its youth; and, by the residence of so many 
learned men, has developed the tastes and stimulated the culture of 
the people, thus adding fresh lustre to their city. 

" They have watched the fortunes of the Owens College with much 
interest; if progress was at first slow, its foundations were deep. The 
young became accustomed to a loftier standard, and kindred institu- 
tions felt the influence. A school of thought, peculiar in some 
respects to the neighbourhood, was raised, and the young obtained 
the advantage of the highest training, while they were not separated 
from their homes and their fathers' business associations. This was 
undoubtedly a great boon, and has done much to remove the com- 
plaint which is sometimes advanced, that a higher education unfits 
men for business life. 

" The benefit of such training is increased when the examinations 
connected with it are conducted in part by those charged with the 
education of the students as well as by the establishment of a univer- 
sity on a collegiate footing; for, as Bacon said, ' if the force of custom, 
simple and separate, be great, the force of custom copulate, conjoyned, 
and collegiate, is far greater; for then example teacheth, company 
comforteth, emulation quickeneth, glory raiseth; so as in such places 



the force of custom is in his exaltation. Certainly the greater multi- 
plication of virtues upon human nature resteth upon societies well 
ordained and disciplined.' 

" We venture to express the hope that the power to examine for 
and to grant medical degrees is but temporarily withheld. A univer- 
sity is certainly incomplete if without a medical faculty. The vast 
population, the great and varied industries to be found within a 
moderate radius of Manchester, make it a peculiarly interesting 
district to the physician and the surgeon. A large and increasing 
medical school is in our midst, and deserves representation in the 
university. We shall heartily join in any prayer to Her Majesty in 
council to grant to the university the power of conferring medical 

" We have great satisfaction, as the representatives of the people 
of this city, in giving your grace and your distinguished colleagues, 
as well as other guests who will be with us, a hearty welcome to our 
Town Hall; and we most earnestly hope that the movement so 
auspiciously begun may be productive of the greatest good to the vast 
populations of this and the neighbouring counties. 

"Given under our common seal this fourteenth day of 
July, 1880. "HENRY PATTESON, 

" Mayor," 

After the adoption of the address, the members of 
the council adjourned to the drawing room, where they 
were received by the Duke of Devonshire. His grace 
was supported by the Archbishop of York, the Bishop 
of Manchester, Lord Winmarleigh, and the other mem- 
bers of the university court ; the professors, and a large 
number of ladies and gentlemen were also present. 

The town clerk having read the address, his grace 

In the evening, the mayor and corporation entertained 
at dinner the university court and a large number of 
distinguished guests. Invitations had been sent to the 
chancellors and principals of the various universities of 
Great Britain and Ireland, and to other distinguished 
personages. Several accepted, but it unfortunately 


happened that a subject of great importance was brought 
before Parliament the same night, and it required the 
presence of the government supporters. 

Among the guests were His Grace the Duke of 
Devonshire, K.G. ; the Right Hon. the Earl Spencer, 
K.G., lord president of the council; and the Archbishop 
of York. There were in all three hundred and forty 

Speeches were delivered by the mayor, the Arch- 
bishop of York, the Duke of Devonshire, Mr. Jacob 
Bright, M.P., Earl Spencer, Dr. Greenw r ood, Lord 
Winmarleigh, Mr. Hugh Birley, M.P., Professor Bryce, 
M.P. ; the Rev. Mark Pattison, rector of Lincoln 
College, Oxford ; the master of Peterhouse (Rev. J. 
Porter) ; President Eliot, of Harvard College ; the 
Bishop of Manchester, Professor Huxley, and Mr. E. 
A. Freeman. 

Next morning, the first meeting of the university 
court was held at the Owens College, the chancellor 

In the evening, a conversazione was given at the 
Owens College by the court of governors and the 
senate of the college. The guests were invited to meet 
the chancellor of the university and the members of the 
university court. The guests were received by the 
treasurer and Principal Greenwood. The Duke of 
Devonshire wore his gown as LL.D. (Cambridge), 
together with the blue ribbon and star of the order 
of the garter. All the rooms of the college were 
thrown open and amusements of various kinds were 

The university was now fairly launched, and this 
notice may conclude with some reference to its working. 

The Crown is the visitor of the university. 


The characteristic features of the Victoria University, 
as compared with other British universities, are these : 
(a) It does not, like London, confer its degrees on can- 
didates who have passed certain examinations only, but 
it also requires attendance on prescribed courses of 
academic study in a college of the university ; (b) the 
constitution of the university contemplates its (ulti- 
mately) becoming a federation of colleges ; but these 
colleges will not be situated, like those of Oxford and 
Cambridge, in one town, but wherever a college of 
adequate efficiency and stability shall have arisen. 
Thus, the Liverpool college, having fulfilled these 
requirements, has become affiliated with the university. 
The Victoria University, like the older universities 
of England and Scotland, is at once a teaching and an 
examining body, and there is an intimate rapport 
between the teaching and the examining functions. To 
give it a general or national character the governing 
body consists partly of persons nominated by the Crown 
and partly of representatives of the governing and 
teaching bodies of the colleges and of the graduates of 
the university. External examiners are appointed, and 
all examinations are conducted jointly by such external 
examiners and examiners representing the teaching 

The graduates of the university meet its teachers in 
convocation to discuss the affairs of the university. 
Convocation will elect future chancellors, and a certain 
number of representatives on the court ; its influence 
will increase with its numbers in the government of the 

It will be excusable to pay a passing tribute to the 
excellent service which the University of London has 
rendered to the country in general and Lancashire in 


particular. The older universities of Oxford and 
Cambridge, which had the advantage of being teaching 
as well as examining bodies, were, until recently, closed 
to a large section of the nation. The theological tests 
prescribed shut out all nonconformists from taking 
degrees at these ancient seats of learning. In 1836 
the London University was established to meet this 
want, and by the high character and standing of its 
governing body at once commanded respect. It 
affiliated to itself numerous colleges and educational 
establishments; and persons who had received private 
tuition only were welcomed to its matriculation and to 
its honours. Its degrees were given as the result of 
strict examination, and one of the objections raised to 
it was that the examinations became too severe and the 
subjects too numerous. It did not enforce what is felt 
to be so essential a part of education a systematic and 
competitive training ; it cherished no esprit de corps ; it 
had no encouragement for companionship and the 
stimulus of numbers in competition : nor did it necessi- 
tate the guidance of trained instructors, These wants 
and others the Victoria University has met.. 

Although the Victoria University was not allowed to 
grant degrees in medicine or surgery, its friends were 
not disheartened. They knew their case was good, 
and they were prepared to wait. Parliament appointed 
a royal commission to inquire into the working of the 
Medical Acts. The commissioners made their report 
in June, 1882, and one of their recommendations was 
that the Victoria University should, without delay, re- 
ceive power to grant its own medical degrees. 

Acting upon this recommendation, the council of the 
university lost no time in asking for the boon they had 
so earnestly sought. The lord president of the council 



(Earl Spencer) and the vice-president (Mr. Mundella, 
M.P.) were both very favourable to the application, and 
Her Majesty the Queen was graciously pleased to give 
her consent. 

A supplementary charter, bearing date 2oth April, 
1883, was granted, removing the restriction as to the 
power to confer degrees in medicine and surgery. 



' ' But I can tell thee, Sancho, there is no such thing as fortune in the 
world, nor does anything which takes place there, be it good or bad, come about 
by chance, but by the special preordination of heaven ; and hence the common 
saying that each of us is the maker of his own fortune." Don Quixote, ORMSBY'S 
Translation, iv., p. 292. 

r I "HE people of Manchester have just cause to be 
*- thankful to John Owens for his noble desire to 
found a college in the town of his birth, and for the 
large means he placed at the disposal of his trustees to 
carry out his good intention ; but this example, splendid 
as it was, must not be permitted to hide or to dwarf 
other glorious efforts in a similar direction. It is the 
object of this book, in recording these gifts, to state 
something about the donors. Chief among them must 
ever be ranked Charles Frederick Beyer, who gave 
time, money, and thought to the interests of the 
college. His great love was for the profession which 
he had followed, and by which he had made an ample 
fortune ; but his sympathies were wide, and his bene- 
volence far reaching. For the present it is enough to 
record what he gave to Owens College. The items 
are : 

A guarantee fund for engineering ^344 I 3 

Extension fund - 1,500 o o 

Engineering instruction fund (Beyer, 

Peacock, and Co.) - 3,000 o o 


Endowments and scholarships fund - 3,000 o o 

Chemical department, endowment - 300 o o 

Jurisprudence and law 500 o o 

Residuary estate for science 100,243 I 9 5 

Total - - ;i 08,888 o 8 

Mr. Beyer left, over and above his settled estate, real 
property to the amount of ,9,577. i8s. 4d. Two of 
his executors, Messrs. Henry Robertson, M.P., and 
John Ramsbottom, conceiving the testator desired his 
property should also go to the college, though barred 
by the Mortmain Act, generously gave up their por- 
tions, which amounted to 6,385. 55. 7d.' 

These most precious gifts, made from time to time 
when the college was in great straits for money, were 
not the only evidences of sympathy which he bestowed ; 
his advice was as freely given as it was eagerly sought, 
and through the stimulus of his example and counsel 
the executive committee were cheered in their work in 
the midst of many discouragements. He was not 
always in accord with his colleagues in their mode of 
action, but when he had frankly sometimes perhaps 
bluntly given his opinion, he would loyally acquiesce 
in the determination of the majority. 

It may be interesting to past and future students of 
the college to learn something about so remarkable a 
man, who may be justly regarded as a second founder; 
and if honour is given, and most justly, to the memory 
of John Owens for endowing a college, when Manches- 
ter was scarcely prepared to receive it at its true value, 

1 There were also bequests to churches at Gorton near to his works, and at 
Llantysilio in Wales, the parish in which his estate lay ; to the Manchester 
Infirmary, the Manchester Grammar School, and to various charities, which 
amounted in the aggregate to ^25,000. 


it is largely due to Charles Beyer, to his foresight, 
courage, and generosity, that the college was developed 
into one of the finest science schools in the kingdom. 

Mr. Beyer was born at Plauen, in Saxony, on the 
1 4th May, 1813, his parents supporting themselves by 
hand-loom weaving. They were so poor as to be un- 
able to give their children more than the usual education 
demanded by the state. Charles was intended to follow 
their own occupation and was bound in a three years' 
apprenticeship. Like many other boys, he displayed 
talent in the use of his hands, and occupied part of his 
leisure in making models of buildings. When he was 
twelve years old he was sent to a young architect in the 
town, who for the modest sum of four shillings a quarter 
gave him lessons in drawing, and taught him arithmetic 
and geometry. As the child is father to the man, so 
young Beyer was then storing up knowledge, and ac- 
quiring dexterity in the use of the pencil, which in later 
years secured him his master's confidence, and led on 
to his own fortune. " So great was the progress made," 
the narrative states, 1 " that in a short time a drawing of 
a head was taken home and framed, being the first pic- 
ture that adorned the wall of his father's parlour." 

It happened that while Charles was working at his 
loom one day the medical man was called in to attend 
upon an elder brother. The gentleman saw the picture, 
and was so much impressed with the artistic power dis- 
played, he insisted that the lad shoul